On 8 July 1935, Josef Liebhart founded SALEWA GmbH in Munich. During WW2 the company produced various leather and textile products, first of all rucksacks with tubular steel frames and ski poles of hazelwood. With the great demand for ski polesin the winter of 1952/53, SALEWA made its breakthrough into the sports sector.
In 1955 SALEWA supported an Andes expedition in the Cordillera Blanca and thus established itself in mountain sport. Ice equipment, ice picks and crampons were added to the product line of the SALEWA mountain sports division. In 1962 a fully-adjustable lightweight crampon was developed and manufactured. The company made its first claim to leadership in equipment. In 1978 decisive steps towards expansion were taken: the product range was extended to include functional clothing. In 1979 SALEWA presented all its products with the same logo for the first time: the SALEWA eagle was created as that logo and thereafter stood as the symbol of incomparable quality.
After SALEWA Austria was founded in 1982, the management took the international structure and export connections all over Europe, the USA, Japan and even as far as New Zealand. The Italian importer Heiner Oberrauch and his Ober Alp Group took over the SALEWA brand and led it to success. Today, six of the most important European markets, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain are covered by SALEWAs own companies, and in 30 other marketsthe group works with sales agents or distributors as partners.
Product Innovation as a corporate objective
SALEWA has one goal- to produce the best possible product for every field of use. In cooperation with experienced alpinists like Reinhold Messner, Hans Kammerlander, Kurt Albert and Christoph Hainz, SALEWA has invented products which today represent the industry standard. Among others, the first adjustable lightweight crampon, the tubular ice screw, the hollow carabiner or the successful via ferrata/climbing safety carabiner Attac. With new products like the Ufo ice screw, the Krypton climbing helmet, the first welded tent (Avenger) in the world and the innovative apparel, the success story continues.
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