Christophe Sanchez replaces Martin Schickel as head of Liebherr-France SAS

It is the end of an era, both for the general management of Liebherr-France SAS and for the entire Liebherr Group. Martin Schickel is retiring after more than 44 years with the company. He is handing over the reins to Christophe Sanchez, who already replaced him as general director of Liebherr-France SAS in June 2020.
Loading, Hauling & Excavation / November 5, 2021
By Guy Woodford
Christophe Sanchez (right) is succeeding Martin Schickel (left) at the helm of the historic Liebherr-France SAS site in Colmar

Liebherr-France SAS, founded 60 years ago, is responsible, among other things, for the development and production of the group's crawler excavators in Colmar, northeast France.

Sanchez joined Liebherr-France SAS in 2002 as export manager for Italy, Spain and North America. In 2007, he became sales manager for the industrial and electric excavators produced at the Colmar site. From 2012 to 2020, he was general director of Liebherr EMtec Italia, responsible for sales and after-sales service of Liebherr construction machinery on the Italian market.

When Hans Liebherr, the founder of the Liebherr Group, decided 60 years ago to build a new production facility for crawler excavators, he chose Colmar for several reasons: On the one hand, because the city of Colmar was already a European hub for numerous important transport routes at that time. Secondly, because a production site in France would facilitate integration into the French economic market.
The factory, built in 1961 in the industrial area of the Alsatian city, initially comprised a production hall and an administration and service room building. The rapid development of the company enabled a subsequent expansion of the facilities. Today there are nine buildings with a built-up area of 148,000m² on a total area of 34.5ha.

The current product range of Liebherr-France SAS includes around 30 crawler excavator models, from the R 914 Compact to the R 980 SME, for use in earthworks and quarries. Production also includes electric excavators and a range of special equipment for specific tasks such as demolition, material handling, bridge or tunnel applications. The crawler excavators with an operating weight of 14 to 100 tonnes are equipped with Liebherr engines with an output of 90 to 420kW. In 2022, the production programme will comprise 2,150 machines. This exceptional figure results from continuous investment and thus permanent development, which secures the group's presence in the European, French and Alsatian industrial landscape.

Martin Schickel has been with Liebherr since 1977, where he was initially employed in quality assurance at Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar. In 1988, it joined the sales department, which it headed from 1995. In 2001, he was appointed Deputy General Manager of Liebherr-France SAS, based in Niederhergheim (France), responsible for construction equipment rental in France. He has been the General Director of the same company since 2006. In this role, Schickel was also responsible for Liebherr Rental Partners in Germany since 2010 and Liebherr Rental Limited U.K. since 2012. On 1 June 2015, he took over the commercial management of Liebherr-France SAS.

He is leaving his post after Liebherr-France SAS reached the record mark of 2,000 machines produced this year. With a production plan for 2,150 machines next year, Schickel has laid the foundation for a secure and sustainable future.


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