Connecticut's rolling hills, winding back roads, and storied manufacturing history are what first attracted German entrepreneur Berthold Leibinger to Farmington.
In 1968, Leibinger was looking for a U.S. subsidiary for the sales and service of TRUMPF machinery in North America and, after researching Chicago and Detroit, fell in love with Farmington while visiting a friend.
TRUMPF opened its first U.S. sales and service location in Farmington in 1969, a small operation run by three employees in a rented building.
Flash forward to 2019 and TRUMPF has expanded far beyond its Farmington footprint with several locations in the U.S. and North America that employ more than 1,500 people.
TRUMPF is now the largest manufacturer of fabricating equipment and industrial lasers in North America.
On Sept. 30, TRUMPF Group CEO Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller was joined by Gov. Ned Lamont, Emily Haber, Germany's Ambassador to the U.S., and a few hundred others at the company's Farmington headquarters to mark 50 years of growth and innovation.
"After Germany, the U.S. is TRUMPF's second-largest single market with $607 million in sales," Leibinger-Kammüller said.
"That puts the United States ahead of China. Including Mexico and Canada, we are talking about $775 million in sales for North America," she said.
Lamont called TRUMPF "a great Connecticut manufacturer."
"From its world-class training center and innovative technologies to its dedication to improving the work-life balance of its current and future employees, TRUMPF continues to be a leading manufacturer in Connecticut," the governor said.
He said Connecticut is proud to be the North American home of TRUMPF, which he called "a great example of a corporate citizen."
Haber, the German ambassador, said TRUMPF's success in America highlights the strong relationship between the two nations.
"The history of TRUMPF in the United States is a success story," Haber said.
"It is a symbol for the close alliance between the U.S. and Germany—in the past, the present, and the future."
Leibinger-Kammüller agreed, saying TRUMPF's success in America "has been built upon the very close bond that exists between the U.S. and Germany."
TRUMPF first entered the U.S. market in 1958 through a distributor, beginning U.S. small-scale manufacturing operations in 1974, and building the Farmington facility in 1977.
TRUMPF's products are used in a variety of industries, including agriculture and farming, automobile, aerospace, and consumer electronics.
Peter Hoecklin, president and CEO of TRUMPF Inc., noted that the company's history is marked by "bold, farsighted entrepreneurial decisions, the constant hard work of employees, and solid relationships cultivated with valued customers."