For the past 40 years, ECHO Incorporated has been a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of professional-grade, hand-held outdoor power equipment for both the commercial and homeowner markets. Today it sells its products in North America through ten distributors managing 6,600 independent dealers. ECHO products can be found in Home Depot stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, while an additional 24 Latin American distributors sell ECHO products through a variety of store channels. The company prides itself on setting the industry standard with its dedication to new technology, quality products and its strong distribution infrastructure. From establishing technological advancements in premium tools for landscaping and arborist professionals, to expanding its capabilities to meet industrial and consumer demand, ECHO has a heritage rich of accomplishment.
The Early Years
ECHO Incorporated was founded in Northbrook, IL, in 1972 as Kioritz Corporation of America and was officially established under its present name in 1978. The company originally was an importer of high-performance 2-cycle engines and hand-held products manufactured by Kioritz Corporation of Japan. In 1979, ECHO shifted its focus to engineering and manufacturing and began initial production and assembly operations in Wheeling, IL. The first lawn care product it produced for the US market was the curved shaft GT-200 grass trimmer. Soon after, ECHO broadened its product offerings to include chain saws, straight shaft grass trimmers, brushcutters, backpack and hand-held blowers, and hedge trimmers.
In 1984 ECHO Power Equipment Canada was created as a subsidiary and in 1985, ECHO Incorporated established its present-day Americas corporate headquarters in Lake Zurich, IL. In 1985, the company also completed construction of its first 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility. Since then, the company has steadily expanded in size, adding additional buildings in 1988, 1995 and 2000. With the completion of a new warehouse in 2010, the company’s campus now includes more than 540,000 square feet of office, manufacturing and warehouse facilities. ECHO is the largest employer in the city of Lake Zurich, with 900 employees.
In 1994, ECHO began its relationship with Home Depot as a provider of professional-quality hand-held outdoor power equipment for the consumer homeowner market. Although it had sold premium equipment to the consumer market for years through its extensive dealer network, this value-added partnership helped to broaden ECHO’s market presence.
Throughout its 40 year tenure in the landscaping, arborist and industrial markets, ECHO has worked hard to maintain a strong foothold in the industry, both with technological advancement and solid business operations. No stranger to product innovation, ECHO engineered the world's first hand-held power blower, the PB-200, as a result of aggressive market research, engineering proficiency and recognition of customer needs. Since then, ECHO has developed groundbreaking new products and evolved 2-stroke engine technology to meet the growing challenges of the commercial market, while pioneering new efforts to meet both EPA emissions regulations and CARB standards. Today ECHO’s engine technology represents the very best in industry leadership - combining high-quality performance and environmental protection in a multi-purpose engine.
As ECHO celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2012, the brand continues to progress as an industry cornerstone. As the company enters a new era, it looks forward to continued innovation and product distinction. Through its strong North and South American network of distributors, dealers and retail partners, ECHO will forge ahead with new products and increased marketing presence. Committed to supplying its customers with the best, most efficient tools for their landscaping and arborist needs, ECHO is proud of the legacy it has created, and will continue its tradition of effort and excellence.