Crisis management and new business
The decade of the 70s was not everywhere a happy one. With enormous efforts, Sika triumphed over the difficulties resulting from the severe recession of 1973 through 1976. But the crisis years ultimately strengthened the Sika Spirit. This rallying cry, still in use to this day, was shaped during these years. It stands for an employee attitude of solidarity and optimism vis-à-vis the company. For example, in the middle of the crisis, Sika personnel in Switzerland agreed to take a wage cut. This was reversed as soon as Sika could recover economically in the second half of the decade. A product which had already been developed in 1968 but had hitherto accounted for only a modest portion of the turnover, now evolved into a bestseller: the one-component, elastic polyurethane adhesive, Sikaflex.
With the versatile adhesive Sikaflex, Sika opened up a new field of business in the 1980s: the automotive industry. In the process Sika shook off its traditional fixation on construction chemistry. The diversification was intended to increase resistance to economic cycles. The expansion of our worldwide presence had the same goal. With the 1982 takeover of Lechler Chemie in Stuttgart, Sika increased the size of its personnel from 3000 to over 4000 in one stroke. It had finally laid enough groundwork for a concerted attempt to further develop the German market. Nevertheless it took a number of years before the new company proceeded on the road to growth after digesting this risky integration. In the second half of the decade most industrial nations enjoyed an economic boom. Sika also profited from this, surpassing the turnover threshold of one billion francs in 1989.