Villiger Cigars was established in 1888 by Jean Villiger in the small town of Pfeffikon, Switzerland, where Villiger remains headquartered to this day. The company manufactures and sells more than 1.5 billion cigars annually, world-wide. Today, under the leadership of Heinrich Villiger, the company prides itself in its commitment to quality in all their products made in many countries around the globe. Scroll down to learn more about Villiger’s storied history.
In 1888, Jean and Louise Villiger start a small cigar manufacturing facility in their home in Pfeffikon the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. So began VILLIGER SÖHNE AG.
After the death of her husband Jean, Louise Villiger continues to single handedly manage the young company which was extraordinary for a woman of that time. For 16 years she successfully leads and manages the company.
In the 1918, Villiger brothers, Max Villiger (pictured left) and Hans (pictured right), take over key positions to head up the second generation of the company. Max takes over the sales & marketing aspects while Hans overseas production. Together they turn the company into one of the most influential cigar manufactures in Europe.
In 1951, after formal training in raw tobacco, Heinrich Villiger assumes control of the company and decides to purchase Cuban tobacco for production in Pfeffikon, setting the stage for Villiger to become the world’s largest private purveyor of Cuban tobacco.
Heinrich Villiger’s vision of becoming internationally known comes to fruition when the company is introduced at the New York 1964 World Exhibition.
From 1977 to 1979, VILLIGER runs the “Villiger Shadow Racing” Formula One racing team. August 17th, 1977: Australian Alan Jones brings in the first Formula One victory, for the VILLIGER team at the Zeltweg, Austrian F1 circuit.
Establishment of EL MUNDO DEL TABACO GmbH for the import from the Caribbean of non-Cuban cigars.
VILLIGER SUBSIDIARY IN INDONESIA – Establishment of PT. Villiger Tobacco Indonesia, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of VILLIGER SÖHNE AG. The tobacco leaves are pre-processed on site for production in Europe.
VILLIGER – NOW ALSO IN THE USA! 1999, establishment of “Villiger North America Corp.” as a distributor for the USA.
DEDICATED SALES ORGANIZATION IN FRANCE – Heinrich Villiger establishes Villiger France S.A.R.L. as a distributor for France.
CHARUTOS TOBAJARA LTDA. – In 2013, VILLIGER opens its own Longfiller production facility called Charutos Tobajara Ltda. in Bahia, Brazil.
In 2016, Heinrich Villiger appoints industry veteran Rene Castañeda as President of Villiger North America. Soon after, Villiger North America moves its headquarters to Miami, Florida in order to better align itself with tobacco interests in Latin America.