From a silver polish to a car polish.
For more than 50 years, SONAX – one of the leading car care product manufacturers – develops and produces in Neuburg (Germany). More than 50 years ago, Manfred Hoffman and his father took the entrepreneurial venture of manufacturing a car polish. Today, SONAX employs around 300 people and yields an annual turnover of approx. 60 million Euros.
The SONAX brand’s history goes back to the beginning of the last century. In Neuburg, from as early as 1905, the great grandfather of the present owner, extracted siliceous earth - an extremely fine mineral which was used in many domestic polishes. After the war, a silver polish was developed and marketed under the name “Sona” – while successful, it had very limited market opportunities due to its application. Therefore, the idea of creating a car polish was born.
“Sona” becomes SONAX.
An “X” - as synonym for wax which was found in every car polish - was added to the brand name “Sona”. Thus, 50 years ago, the company started into the car care sector.
The beginnings were very simple: Four SONAX representatives drove overland in fully loaded VW Beetles. It was the personal contact to customers that counted; at that time, advertising was unimaginable.
The breakthrough came with the frost.
Step by step, further car care products were added. But not everything was a success right from the start: a de-icer was created and provided in glass bottles. Unfortunately, in frost, the de-icing product froze and burst the glass packaging. Consequently, the Neuburg laboratory developed an effective de-icer which was the first marketed in an aerosol can - a big seller in the cold winter of 1962.
A strong brand profile.
In 1984, the year Manfred Hoffmann jr. – today’s owner of the Hoffmann Group of Companies – entered the company, the turnover had grown to a remarkable 30 million D-Mark. However, the better part was achieved through brands of trade, petroleum companies and car manufacturers. It was not until the first half of the 80s that the Neuburg enterprise began to systematically build up the premium car care brand. The clear brand image, advertising and first sponsorships helped SONAX gain more and more awareness.
Another push for the enterprise’s development was the German reunification – since 1989, the turnover has doubled within a short time. Today, SONAX is represented in 80 countries around the world. Exports increased to 30 per cent; subsidiary distribution companies in Austria and the Netherlands provide local presence.