Steinway & Sons has purchased Louis Renner GmbH & Co. KG. The German Renner company manufactures grand and upright piano actions as well as many special piano components and tools. Steinway (Hamburg) has used Renner parts in their pianos for more than a century, and are one of Renner’s largest customers.
Back in 1882, Louis Renner established his company in Stuttgart, Germany. The German piano industry was growing rapidly at that period, and Renner readily found customers for his superior hand-built actions. Bösendorfer, Bechstein, Blüthner, Schiedmayer, Ibach and Irmler all used his products.
Over the years, with a focus on quality and the use of new technologies, the Louis Renner company subsequently became the world’s leading supplier of piano actions and hammers.
Quality and Quantity
Today, Renner parts can still be found in instruments made by Blüthner and Bösendorfer as well as Estonia, Fazioli*, August Förster*, Grotrian-Steinweg, Pearl River, Petrof, Pfeiffer, Pleyel, Pramberger, Ravenscroft, Rönisch, Samick, Sauter, Schimmel*, W Steinberg*, Steingräber & Söhne*, Charles Walter, Young Chang, and of course Steinway (Hamburg)*.
Renner claims that approximately 3 million pianos around the world have been built with their actions.
Renner’s headquarters and the main factory are in Gärtringen (near Stuttgart). There is also a second German production facility in Meuselwitz near Leipzig. In their press release, Steinway guarantees the ongoing employment of the total staff in both production plants.
The purchase of Louis Renner GmbH is the latest in a number of strategic acquisitions Steinway has made over the past few years. These include piano keys manufacturer Kluge Klaviaturen GmbH (Germany), and the O.S. Kelly Foundry (US), which makes cast iron plates (frames). Such purchases ensure Steinway has robust supply lines of essential parts.
* Reportedly these companies exclusively use actions and hammerheads made by Renner (if this is incorrect, please advise using the comments section below).