For more than 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 the company sells its products in North America through ten distributors managing 6,600 independent dealers. An additional 24 Latin American distributors sell ECHO products through a variety of channels. ECHO products can be found in Home Depot stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. 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. It 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, a Chicago suburb. Also in 1985, the company 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. The majority of ECHO products are built in the United States from foreign and domestic parts and components.
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 tenure, 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 engineers have pioneered many ground-breaking products as a result of aggressive market research, engineering proficiency and recognition of customer needs. Within recent years, ECHO successfully evolved 2-stroke engine technology to meet the growing demands 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 - balancing high-quality performance with environmental demands in a 2-stroke engine.
ECHO is the largest subsidiary of the Yamabiko Corporation of Japan.