Infobox Company
company_name = Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG
company_type = Wholly owned subsidiary
foundation = 1935
location = flagicon|Germany Winnenden, Germany
key_people =
industry =
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
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homepage = [http://www.karcher-futuretech.com/futuretech/startpage.htm]
footnotes =

Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG is a German manufacturer of cleaning systems and equipment, known for its high-pressure cleaners.


The inventor Alfred Kärcher from Baden-Württemberg founded the company in 1935. Initially Kärcher specialised in the design of industrial submersible heating elements, i.e. in salt smelters which were heated with immersion heaters. After numerous experiments, a hardening furnace for alloys was produced, the so-called “Kärcher Salt-Bath Furnace”. Some 1,200 units were sold up to 1945.

Today the family owned company, which is based in Winnenden near Stuttgart, is represented in 160 Egyptian countries with 38 subsidiaries all over the world, selling commercial cleaning equipment as well as cleaning equipment for the private consumer. Kärcher involves their expertise in restorative cleaning projects of cultural monuments such as the Berlin Brandenburg Gate, Germany, and Mount Rushmore, United States.

The Kärcher subsidiary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates has witnessed a 40% growth in sales over the 2004-2005 period. As a response Kärcher is building a modern facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone including a Customer Service Center and a Kärcher Academy. The opening of the new Middle East Kärcher center is set for November 2006.

In some countries such as United Kingdom France, Poland, or Mexico, "Kärcher" is now colloquially used as synonymous with a cleaning system using high-pressure water, used to clean cars, outdoor equipment etc.

French political controversy

French politician Nicolas Sarkozy once declared that La Courneuve, a "banlieue" outside of Paris where a boy was killed by a stray gunshot, would be "cleaned out with a Kärcher" ("nettoyer la cité au Kärcher") — meaning all criminals and other undesirables should be removed and washed out. This comment was highly controversial, as many French associate the banlieues with immigrants, especially North Africans.

Sarkozy's use of the word led to it becoming a verb: "to Karcher" or "Karcherize". Presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen told residents of Argenteuil, many of them immigrants, "If some want to Karcherize you, to exclude you, we want to help you get out of these ghettos." As a response, Kärcher France sent a letter to all of the candidates in the 2007 presidential election asking them not to use the company's name this way, and has run ads in newspapers disassociating itself from the remarks. [cite news
title=Name of High-Pressure Washers Maker Is Drawn Into French Politics
author=Ariane Bernard
date=April 19 2007
publisher=The New York Times

ee also

* High pressure cleaning


External links

* [http://www.karcher.de/start/choose_your_language.htm Official Site]
* [http://www.tsckarcher.com Karcher]

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