If the family business Stihl from Waiblingen makes good on its hidden announcement and turns its back on Germany, the country will lose one of its most traditional companies. The move alone is unlikely to hurt the company's location. As long as it doesn't become a harbinger of a trend.

Stihl migration: 6,400 jobs lost

In total, Stihl employed about 20,500 people. Almost two thirds of them work abroad. Stihl employs around 6,400 people in Germany. If the company moves completely, these jobs will be lost.

Compared to large companies, this change is hardly significant: Edeka employs more than 300,000 people nationwide, Volksagen and Rewe more than 200,000 each. 30 to 50 times more than Stihl.

Germany's 500 largest family businesses employ around 2.9 million people. If all 6,400 Stihl jobs are lost, that corresponds to a ratio of 0.02 percent.

Stihl had a turnover of 5.5 billion dollars, of which about 500 million in Germany

In terms of sales, Stihl ranked 48th among German family businesses in 2023. Just ahead of Miele, just behind Hornbach. Bosch, also a family business, generated about 15 times more sales than Stihl.

Value creation in Germany hardly suffers from an exodus from Stihl.

Especially since the company generated 90 percent of its sales abroad. In the Federal Republic, Stihl sold products worth around 500 million euros. Walking away is unlikely to change that.

Stihl set aside around 160 million euros for taxes

It is not known exactly how much tax the Federal Republic will lose as a result of a Stihl migration. For 2022, Stihl Holding AG has set aside around €160 million for taxes. This value applies worldwide. Most of it probably comes from Germany.

The exact amount of Stihl's tax payments can only be estimated from this. In Germany, however, it is unlikely to exceed €200 million.

For comparison: the federal government collected around 23 billion euros in 2023 from corporate tax alone, just one of the two corporate taxes. Stihl's share of total corporate tax payments in the Federal Republic is therefore well below one percent.

The tax loss is annoying. However, it is unlikely to have any influence on the federal government's financial planning.

As long as Stihl remains a rare exception, the place will survive

On its own, Germany as a place can cope with a Stihl exit. Suppliers are also dependent on the company, increasing their participation in the overall economy. The Waiblingen region is also affected by an exit. But the economy in general depends on other companies, whether traditional or not. The fact that companies come and go is part of capitalism.

The exit could become more threatening if the causes that ousted Stihl scare away many companies.

“Germany is no longer, to put it mildly, the most attractive place in the world,” says Nikolas Stihl, grandson of the company's founder. The Federal Republic has fallen significantly in many location rankings due to energy costs, lack of skilled workers and outdated infrastructure. Demands for shorter work hours are scaring away more companies.

Each of these points determines the future of the site more than the investment decision of a chainsaw manufacturer.