Growth in the battery segment, EC motor manufacturing and a variety of new battery-operated products for professional and home users were the headline-grabbers from Stihl’s international media day.

GATHERING together journalists from around the world for a lively mix of presentations and sneak peeks of new products, Stihl’s international media day was held in Waiblingen, Germany, on 13 September.

The venue for the event was the new Stihl Brand World (‘Markenwelt’ in German), an expansive meeting area and exhibition space offering a fascinating insight into the history of the brand.

The day began with a press conference at which the executive board provided an overview of the company’s recent performance and outlook for the year ahead.

Forestry Journal: Stihl’s Brand World houses roughly 300 modern workspaces and a selection of meeting rooms as well as the exhibition.Stihl’s Brand World houses roughly 300 modern workspaces and a selection of meeting rooms as well as the exhibition. (Image: Supplied)

Journalists heard the past eight months had proven challenging for the Stihl Group, with sales volumes in Western Europe down year on year.  The company generated revenue of €3.84 billion in the period from January to August 2023, a decline of 1.5 per cent year on year.

A number of reasons were offered for the deterioration in business performance. Since the lifting of measures to contain COVID, consumers have resumed spending more on tourism, cultural activities, and eating out. Weaker economic development, inflation, and the cost of energy have also led to subdued consumer spending in general. Alongside this restraint among consumers around the world, authorised dealers’ high stock levels had also had an impact on the sales performance at Stihl.

Michael Traub, chairman of the Stihl executive board, said: “After several years of strong growth, our markets find themselves in a period of temporary consolidation in 2023. 

“But with over 100 years of history in the industry, Stihl has plenty of experience in responding to fluctuations in operating business. Our family-owned company has a long-term outlook, and we look to the future with confidence.

Forestry Journal: Michael Traub, chairman of the Stihl executive board Michael Traub, chairman of the Stihl executive board (Image: Supplied)

“We have ambitious growth plans and continue to invest a great deal in our business, especially in batteries – the technology of the future – and in our global manufacturing and sales network.” 

Those plans include further expansion of the founding company in Germany, he added. Alongside a new manufacturing facility for battery-operated tools, the company also plans to build its own EC motor plant for professional battery-operated products in Waiblingen, increasing Stihl’s depth of production for battery-operated tools.

Michael continued: “What’s positive is that our battery strategy is paying off and that our customers around the world remain very interested in battery-operated Stihl products.

“Sales of battery-operated chainsaws and other battery-operated power tools have increased year on year. Nevertheless, we are still seeing an overall decline in sales worldwide across all drive types.”

From mechanical parts such as slides, chains, sprocket covers, and housing to electronics like battery packs or cable harnesses, Stihl already develops and manufactures many of the parts used in its battery products itself. By manufacturing its own EC motors in-house it believes it will ensure its electric motors are an even better match for the products as a whole — something that will further enhance the performance and quality of the company’s battery-operated tools.

Forestry Journal: The company plans to create a new manufacturing facility for battery-operated tools as well as its own EC motor plant.The company plans to create a new manufacturing facility for battery-operated tools as well as its own EC motor plant. (Image: Supplied)

A new manufacturing facility will be established in Waiblingen and initially focus on producing EC motors for professional battery-operated products. It is set to start in 2025. The investment amounts to roughly €17 million. 

The board’s presentation was followed by a tour of Brand World, the result of an extensive, multi-year project to expand the company’s headquarters. Its interactive museum takes visitors on an immersive journey through the nearly 100-year history of the business and the brand. 

Located on the banks of the Rems river with a view of its natural surroundings, Brand World includes a three-storey exhibition space measuring just over 1,500 square metres. 

Forestry Journal:  An immersive museum on the upper levels tells the story of the Stihl brand. An immersive museum on the upper levels tells the story of the Stihl brand. (Image: Supplied)

Construction of the new complex started in 2019 with the gutting of the high-rise. Originally built in 1972, the tower has now been fully renovated to house roughly 300 modern workspaces and a selection of meeting rooms. The old company buildings around the high-rise have been replaced by new ones containing the Brand World, a staff cafeteria, and additional office space. Despite major challenges during construction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, building work progressed on schedule, allowing the company to dedicate its new headquarters as planned in late 2022.

The museum’s two upper levels showcase the company’s history – from its roots in forestry (with the first and now historic two-man saws) to the very latest Stihl technology, as well as a preview of the future and applications yet to come. 

Presented in German and English, the exhibition is designed to appeal to a wide audience – from forestry, horticulture, and landscaping professionals to fans of Stihl – without neglecting younger guests or people who are simply interested in learning more about the company. 

Forestry Journal: Branches up to 20 cm in diameter can be sawn off precisely and efficiently with the HTA 150.Branches up to 20 cm in diameter can be sawn off precisely and efficiently with the HTA 150. (Image: Supplied)

On the ground floor is a comprehensive knowledge platform about the power of forests, conceived as an educational tool to inform visitors about both the environment and the industry.

Following a light lunch in the staff canteen, members of the international press were split into groups for staggered demonstrations of some of the 30 new products set to be released by the company in the coming months.

This included a wide variety of innovative tools for domestic and professional customers, including lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and brushcutters – but sadly no chainsaws.

As one might expect, the focus was firmly on the significant expansion of the firm’s battery-operated portfolio.


For professional users this included the FSA 200, the company’s most powerful battery-operated brushcutter, the HTA 160 battery-operated pole pruner and the KMA 120 R battery-operated KombiEngine, which can be fitted to a whole host of KombiTools using quick-release coupling.

Of most interest to the forestry crowd was the HTA 150 cordless pole pruner. Stihl’s first cordless pole pruner especially designed for forestry care work, it has a particularly light-weight shaft with a hollow axle and a powerful EC motor.

For powerful and precise cutting, the HTA 150 is equipped with the Stihl Rollomatic E Mini guide bar with a cutting length of 30 cm and the 3/8” Picco Micro Mini 3 (PM3) saw chain. This cutting attachment ensures high cutting performance and allows branches up to 20 cm in diameter to be sawn off efficiently. The lateral chain tensioning makes it easier to re-tension the saw chain and the lateral chip ejection reduces clogging.

Forestry Journal: Users can customize the Stihl Advance X-Flex modular harness system for an array of applications.Users can customize the Stihl Advance X-Flex modular harness system for an array of applications. (Image: Supplied)

The energy required to operate the saw is supplied by a 36 V lithium-ion battery from the Stihl AP cordless system, designed for professional users, which also allows use in rain or wet conditions.

The recommended AP 300 S plugs into the battery compartment of the housing and provides sufficient energy for an operating time of up to 70 minutes during forestry care work with one battery charge. At the same time, the device is carefully balanced, with the battery’s centre of gravity located in the shaft axis.

The forestry version of the HTA 150 has an ergonomic loop handle which, in combination with the new Stihl Advance X-TREEm HT forestry harness, ensures precise and effortless guidance of the 196 cm long saw, and easy manoeuvring between cuts.

Even the removal of unwanted vegetation can be done comfortably while standing. This approach reduces the strain on muscles and joints and allows the device to be used for longer periods of time. In addition, the gauge bar on the chain sprocket cover simplifies precise positioning of the cutting attachment and, if required, the easy-to-mount branch hook makes it simple to remove loose cuttings.

Another highlight of the day was an exclusive look at the new Advance X-Flex modular harness system. 

Forestry Journal: Tobias Raab demonstrates the HTA 150 for journalists.Tobias Raab demonstrates the HTA 150 for journalists. (Image: FJ/John McNee)

The standout feature of this easy-to-customise forestry harness is a hip strap that can be supplemented by a multitude of pockets and attachments depending on the application, e.g. as a light-weight tool strap for forestry jobs, as an ergonomic carrying strap for brushcutters and clearing saws, or as a comfortable battery strap for working with tools that draw their energy via the connecting cable through the AP adapter or a socket.

A wide range of pockets and holders is available, all of which can be attached rapidly and easily using an innovative clip system developed by Stihl.

Stihl’s Advance X-Flex harness system is chracterised by optimum fit and high wearing comfort thanks to various size versions, and was awarded a silver medal by the expert jury at this year’s Demopark trade fair in Germany.

The system’s components will be available for sale both individually and in prefabricated sets for forestry or gardening and landscaping applications, which allows for individual customisation.

Forestry Journal: The HTA 160 is Stihl's most powerful battery-powered pole saw.The HTA 160 is Stihl's most powerful battery-powered pole saw. (Image: Supplied)

Finally, Stihl highlighted the latest addition to the range of toys in its brand shop, the Stihl Timbersports Edition Playmobil set. Consisting of two Playmobil athletes competing in the chainsaw discipline and axe event, as well as a cameraman and accessories, the set was promoted as the perfect way for fans of all ages to pass the time until the World Championship in Stuttgart this November. But it’s likely it – along with some of the company’s other latest products – will end up on quite a few Christmas lists, too.