Well it looks to be true from this Hitachi Press Release that controlling interest, (80% or 100%) of Metabo will soon be acquired by Hitachi. We’d guess both companies would remain intact because the Metabo name is very strong but how will this shake out? Recently we have been very impressed by what Metabo has begun to do in cordless tools, innovating not only the batteries with Li-HD but really stepping up the game in brushless grinders, hammer drills and big plans for new products in 2016.
What does this mean for Metabo’s future, 3 scenarios summarize most power tool brand acquisition. First, if there is a good solid brand that doesn’t need messed with (Metabo definitely is). The company remains independent with perhaps some back end economies of scale having multiple power tool brands but very little changes. Second, “the scary scenario”, big boxes say we’d love to feature some well recognized (Metabo) products but we need a tool price everyone can afford. Price drops (along with quality), long time loyal users rejoice as $200 (grinders) fall to $59, stock prices pop up for a quarter or two but wait a second… these tools are now pieces of &*$#%%^ not like they used to be…. begin the backlash. Third, “the good scenerio”, the nice folks at Hitachi realize the positives of the brand, R&D and technology Metabo is working on is super great and they should pour gas on this fire, more R&D money. They fund them to advance their premium product even further, add some marketing dollars behind it, redo their dated website but stay somewhat hands off of Metabo team as the premium tool brand it is. They then let the R&D advancements trickle down to the Hitachi brand which stays the price point option it is today.
We don’t have a crystal ball, zero economist training and maybe they’ve got something new in mind but these 3 scenarios summarize most of the power tool acquisitions we’ve witnessed in the past 15 years. For more info on Metabo Tool themselves give the pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424.