The Schindler Group is a manufacturer of escalators and elevators world wide, founded in Switzerland in 1874. Schindler produces, installs, maintains and modernizes elevators and escalators in many types of buildings including residential, commercial and high-rise buildings. The company is present in more than 140 countries and employs more than 48,000 persons worldwide. The production facilities are located in Brazil, China, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, India and the USA.
The company was founded in Switzerland in 1874, by Robert Schindler and Eduard Villiger who established the collective joint partnership Schindler & Villiger. Shortly thereafter, a mechanical engineering workshop was built on an island in the River Reuss in Lucerne, Switzerland, for the production of lifting equipment and machines of all types.
Schindler founded the first foreign subsidiary in Berlin (Germany) in 1906. Thereafter, the company expanded continuously and mainly throughout Europe. In 1980 Schindler founded the first Western industrial joint venture in the People's Republic of China. With the takeover of Atlas in Brazil in 1999 Schindler became a major market player in South America.
Schindler entered the North American elevator market with the purchase of Toledo-based Haughton Elevator Company in 1979 - briefly branding their products as Schindler-Haughton. In 1989, the company dramatically increased its presence in the United States after acquiring the Elevator/Escalator division ofWestinghouse Electric, one of the largest producers of elevators and escalators at the time. Currently, Schindler Elevator Corporation, the United States operations of Schindler Group, is based in Morristown, New Jersey.
In February 2007, Schindler, along with competitors Otis Elevator Co., ThyssenKrupp, Kone, and Mitsubishi Elevator Europe were fined by the European Union for a price-fixing cartel. Schindler was fined 144 million euros, or about $189.3 million US dollars.
Since 2011, Schindler have sponsored Solar Impulse, a solar-powered aircraft.