History of Thule Group
In 1942, Thule Group was founded by the Thulin family, when Erik Thulin, a true lover of the outdoors, put the Thule name on a so called pike fishing trap (a fishing gear) that he designed and began to sell to the fisherman of Scandinavia. It wasn’t long before he added other practical things to his company’s portfolio. Business grew, gaining profitably year after year.
By the 1960s, the company began to concentrate its business on car-related products that would make it easier for people to bring different gear with them. The first ski rack was introduced in 1962. In the 1970s, new product categories were added with the growth of new sports such as alpine skiing and new markets were also opened all over the world (e.g. USA, Japan).
The Thulin family sold the company in 1979 to the stock exchange-listed Eldon Group. But the entrepreneurship and passion remained and Thule Group has continued to grow both organically and through acquisitions ever since. Today, Thule Group is a world leader in products that make it easy for people to bring everything they care about – securely, safely, and in style. We are a sport and outdoor company, continuing the tradition of Thule Group by developing smart solutions that are safe and easy to use and that enable active lives.
Below are some milestones from our history.
Thule introduces Thule Subterra luggage line at the IFA fair in Berlin
The next generation of Thule Chariot, the world's most sold multifunctional child carrier, and the Thule EasyFold XT, a new family member to the award winning, foldable bike carrier was launched at Eurobike, the world’s largest bike fair.
Thule Group acquired the Dutch company GMG B.V. with a focus on child bike seats under the brand Yepp.
During 2015 the Thule Legend series of GoPro bags, developed in collaboration with Thule Crew member Matthias Giraud, was launched. Thule Sapling child carrier backpack and Thule RideAlong Mini, front-mounted child bike seat, went on sale in stores, broadening the range of products in the Active with Kids category, and the tow-bar mounted bike carrier, Thule VeloCompact reached retail. Sales also started for the new trendy Case Logic LoDo range of laptop cases.
The Thule RideAlong Mini front-mounted child bike seat was also awarded with the prestigious iF Product Design Gold Award.
A new 10,000 square meter distribution center for Eastern Europe was opened adjacent to our largest assembly plant in Huta, Poland.
The Thule Group Test Center in Hillerstorp, Sweden, is expanded and becomes the global test center in Thule Group.
The Snow Chain business is divested
Thule Group is listed at Nasdaq Stockholm and becomes a public company.
We introduce Thule-branded Technical Backpacks to our retail partners.
We widen our Active with Kids product portfolio with the Thule Glide and Thule Urban Glide sport strollers and the Thule RideAlong and Thule RideAlong Mini child bike seat.
Strategic focus on branded consumer goods leads to spin-off of Business Area Towing as a separate stand-alone company, Brink Group, and divestment of Business Area Trailer, becoming the stand-alone Brenderup Group.
We launch Thule-branded protective smartphone covers with the Thule Gauntlet and Thule Atmos X3 series.
The Thule Chasm series of watertight sport duffel bags and the Thule RoundTrip bike transport cases broaden the offer in the Sport&Travel bags segment.
Thule Crew is created.
With the motto “Spend more time outdoors”, the Thule Crew members are chosen to inspire us to live a more active life.
We launch Thule Pack ‘n Pedal – a new, smart, and stylish bike bag and carrier system.
Thule Group is awarded "Action Sports Vendor of the Year" by American sports retailer REI (one of the world’s leading retailers for outdoor gear and sporting goods).
Thule Group enters into the Active with Kids category via the acquisition of the Canadian Chariot Carriers Inc., world-leader of multi-fucntional child carriers.
We introduce the Thule Crossover bags collection.
The Thule Adventure Team, the world’s leading multisport team, is formed
Divestment of the integrated roof rail business.
We launch the Thule EuroPower bike carrier – the first purpose-made bike carrier for e-bikes.
Divestment of the North American towbar business.
Thule Group acquires Case Logic, a leading company in Bags for Electronic Devices.
Thule Group acquires sport&cargo carrier brand Sportrack and towbar businesses in Europe and North America.
Thule Group enters the Recreational Vehicle Product category by acquiring Omnistor, Europe's leading provider of bike carriers and awnings for RVs.
Thule Group acquires König, one of Europe's leading providers of snow chains.
We launch the Thule Hull-a-Port kayak carrier
Launch of the first towbar-mounted bike carrier.
Thule introduces surfboard carriers to the outdoor market in the US. World-famous surfer Robby Naish becomes a brand ambassador.
The first Thule ski box (TB-11) is launched.
World-famous alpine skier Ingemar Stenmark from Sweden becomes a Thule brand ambassador.
We introduce the Thule Roof Basket – a true innovation with its flexible fastening solution for easier mounting.
We introduce the Thule ski rack – the first Thule product for carrying your sports gear.
Thule is founded in Hillerstorp, Sweden.