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Fuchs celebrates 100 years in Australia

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Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia)  completes 100 years in Australia with a renewed commitment to provide Australian industry and consumers with high quality lubricants, greases and oils.  

Wayne Hoiles, Managing Director of Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) believes it is a phenomenal achievement to still be going strong at 100 while Stewart Knight, Deputy Managing Director feels great to be part of the successful company.  

Fuchs began its Australian journey in 1911, when metallurgist Claude A. Stewart founded the Steel Improvement Company in Bay Street, Sydney. Specialising in carburisers and metal working products, the company became known throughout the Commonwealth as the manufacturers of IMPREGNO carburising products.  

Key milestones of Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) over its 100-year history:  

  • 1911: Metallurgist Claude A. Stewart establishes the Steel Improvement Company to manufacture carburisers and metal working products
  • 1948: New manufacturing facility and laboratory in Woodville, Adelaide set up to service Holden and Chrysler with drawing oils, stamping oils and heat treatment salts
  • 1979: Purchased by Beat Altermatt
  • 1980: Partners with Fuchs GmbH of Mannheim, Germany, who take a 40% equity share in the company
  • 1981: Steel Improvements relocates to the current Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) head office location at 49 McIntyre Road, Sunshine
  • 1989: Beat Altermatt sells his interest in Steel Improvement to Fuchs AG OEL + Chemie with company turnover at 12 million dollars per year
  • 1991: Fuchs purchases the global operating companies of UK based Century Oils
  • 1992: Steel Improvement Company merges with Century Oils Australia Limited to form Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) Pty. Ltd.
  • 1998: Expansion program continues with the acquisition of Omex Petroleum, allowing Fuchs to expand into the automotive sector and New Zealand
  • 2007: Fuchs Lubritech acquired to enable Fuchs to further increase its level of specialisation
Mr Hoiles explains that Fuchs (Australasia) has grown 300% in the last 10 years, becoming a $150+ million company and demonstrating the company’s development in the Australasian region.

The significant growth experienced by the company during the past decade is the result of a number of innovations and redevelopments within the company under the leadership of Mr Hoiles and Mr Knight.  

Key developments include the launch of a new grease plant in Melbourne to expand Fuchs’ capabilities, a focus on marketing through Australian motorsport, and most recently, the opening of a world class Regional Lubricant Laboratory and Technical Centre in Sunshine, Victoria.  

Mr Knight adds that the company achieved a big milestone in 1993 with its quality certification, followed in 1998 with an environmental certification, and more recently, the health and safety certification.  

Mr Hoiles concludes by saying that while technology will continue to develop and change dramatically, there will always be a place for lubricants and greases in the modern world, with Fuchs being well placed to look after the lubrication needs of future generations.

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