Kohler still makes their own engines, however they have outsourced their production to several countries over the last few decades. They have plants all over the world that include the United States but also Canada, China, France, Mexico, Italy and Germany, among others.
Part of this is due to practicality of shipping and the other part is due to increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Regardless, Kohler still produces a great diesel engine used in farming equipment, generators, snow blowers and more.
Where Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in China?
Kohler makes diesel engines in Chongqing, China. They signed a joint venture in May 2007 with a company known for its motorcycle production, called YinXiang Ltd. They help to develop, manufacture, market, sell and distribute the diesel engines for the Asian markets. They also manufacture parts for building engines and other machines for other Kohler plants worldwide.
Where Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in Mexico?
Kohler builds some diesel engines at their plant in Azcapotzalco, Ciudad de México, Mexico. It’s not clear when they began operations at this location or if it’s under a partnership with another company. However, they have produced engines in Mexico since the 1960s.
Where Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in France?
Kohler makes diesel engines for generators in Colmar and Brest, France. Actually, the Brest plant is the latest development and began this expansion in July 2021, under their 2005 acquisition of SDMO. The Colmar factory produces KD diesel engines.
Where Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in Italy?
When the Kohler Group began its partnership with Lombardini Srl in 2007, they began producing their newer lines of Kohler diesel engines. Ever since, they’ve had their operations at the Reggio Emilia factory in Italy. Here, they produce the KDI series of diesel engines.
Where Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in Germany?
The diesel engines made in Germany are an extension of their plant in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It’s unclear which diesel engines come from Germany. However, we do know the factory is in Frankfurt.
Are There Any Other European Locations Where They Make Kohler Diesel Engines?
Kohler has several plants and locations across Europe including the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. While some of these are mainly for their bathroom and kitchen fixtures, there is evidence to suggest that some also assemble parts to produce diesel engines.
Even though we don’t know exactly what engines come from which factories, the KDI and the KD come from their partnership with Lombardini Srl based in Italy.
Where Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in Canada?
Canada does not produce, assemble, design or construct Kohler diesel engines. However, they do have a distribution partnership with Polar Industrial Services that covers the entire swath of Western Canada. This includes Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
While they do some minimal assembly, it’s not the same as what happens at their factories in France, Italy or Germany. They mainly rely on shipping methods to import the engines for sale and distribution specifically catered to the Canadian market. However, it’s important to note that Canada did have Kohler factories in the early 1960s.
Are Kohler Diesel Engines Made in Any Other Countries in the World?
Kohler Group has a small plant in Maharastra, India under the direction of Lombardini Srl in Italty. Therefore, we don’t know exactly what they produce or how they contribute to diesel engine manufacturing. It’s unclear what role they play in Kohler Group as a whole.
Where Does Kohler Make Diesel Engines in the United States?
Kohler makes diesel engines at their plants in Saukville and near Sheboygan in Wisconsin as well as at their major plant complex in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They engineer, design and assemble the engines at these locations from parts shipped from Chongqing, China.
While it’s unclear which specific engines come from what particular factories, we do know that the Kohler 7000 series comes from the US.
Are Kohler Diesel Engines Good Quality Even Though They Come from Various Areas of the World?
For the most part, Kohler diesel engines are top of the line when it comes to durability, quality and reliability. However, it is important to note that since 2005, Kohler has been part of several lawsuits brought on not only by the US Department of Justice but also the China Labor Rights for nefarious practices.
China Labor Watch in 2005 accused the Chinese plant of violating major labor rights violations. These included excessive work hours without overtime pay, far too low of wages, poor working conditions and failing to compensate for on-the-job injuries. They also denied workers the ability to form a union.
In 2020, Kohler paid out $20 million in a settlement with the US Department of Justice, the EPA and California for small engines violations of California production laws and the Clean Air Act.
How Long Has Kohler Been in Business?
Kohler has been in business since 1873, founded by John Michael Kohler out of Kohler, Wisconsin. They’re notorious for their plumbing products for bathrooms and kitchens. However, they are also famous for manufacturing furniture, tile, cabinetry, generators and engines.
How Did Kohler Come to Make Diesel Engines?
Since the 1920s, Kohler has manufactured engines but these were mainly gas. This was when they began reaching out to the agricultural industry with their Model A generators with 1500 watt engines. They had a 110-volt DC current. It was in 1939 that Kohler began dipping their toes into the production of diesel engines.
These earlier diesel models used a liquid cooling system with cylinder and speed options. By 1948 their popularity was so widespread that they opened their own factory for stand-alone engines for industrial use. By 1951 their engines exported to places like Thailand and Vietnam for use in rice field farming.
Today, Kohler produces engines for a variety of industrial and commercial uses that includes things like saws, lawn mowers, welding equipment, pressure washers and generators. These span gas-powered models as well as diesel ones.