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Sullana (Unternehmen)

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Sullana AG was a Swiss tobacco products manufacturer. The company was founded in 1916 as Cigarettenfabrik Beer & Cie. and had its headquarters and production site in Zurich until the mid-1960s and then in Wetzikon until production ceased in 1996. At the same time, Sullana was the best-known cigarette brand produced by the company.

Cigarette factory in Zurich at Sihlquai (2018)

Factory building in Wetzikon (1969)

History

The company was founded in 1922 by F. Beer. The first company headquarters were located on Badenerstrasse in Zurich, before the company moved to a new building at Sihlquai 268 in 1922. From 1930 onwards, “Sullana” was introduced and marketed as a brand. In 1939, the company was transformed into “Sullana AG”.[1][2]

In 1940, Sullana AG was described in a special issue of the series Neu-Zürich in Wort und Bild as a leading company in the domestic cigarette industry that had introduced the “high culture of oriental cigarette production” to Switzerland. It was advertised at the time as the most smoked 1 franc cigarette in Switzerland and with “It doesn’t scratch, that’s its secret”.[2]

In 1964, the company bought a factory building at Kastellstrasse 1/3 in Wetzikon at an auction and moved the administration there in 1965 and the production there in 1966.[3] Around this time, cigarette production in Zurich was discontinued.[2]

In 1963, the joint stock company was purchased by Turmac Tobacco Comp. B.V. Amsterdam and incorporated into the Rothmans group.[1] To celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the company, the then 100 employees were invited to Amsterdam.[1] In 1983, the sales and shipping department, which had previously been based in Geneva, was also relocated to Wetzikon. In that year, 1.6 billion cigarettes were produced, 60 percent of which were exported.[4] In 1985, an open day was held following renovation and rationalization investments amounting to 5 million Swiss francs. Company profits that year amounted to 1.8 million francs.[5]

In 1996, production in Wetzikon was discontinued.[6] Like many other companies before it, some of whose employees it had taken over, it thus became a victim of the concentration movement in the tobacco industry.[7]

In 2020, according to the January 10, 2020 edition of the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC), a Sullana GmbH was registered in the Commercial Registry Office of the Canton of Zurich for the purpose of distributing tobacco products.[8]

Cigarette factory in Zurich

building with advertising sign (2018)

After Sullana AG moved out, the building was first used by a distribution company for cigarette and music machines. Later it was rented by a design and nail studio, which is located there until now (as of 2018). The façade advertisement located there is considered by both Zurich’s urban planning department and typography expert François Baer to be an elegant and stylish preserved testimony to Sihlquai’s historically significant industrial past. Although it would have been legally possible, protection of the cultural asset has not yet been sought.[2]

The building is owned by the Canton of Zurich, which bought it up as part of the unrealized Zurich Expressway Y project. There is to be a new discussion about the preservation of the advertising lettering only in the event of a possible sale or conversion, which is currently (as of 2018) not planned.[2]

Other

In the first half of the 1930s, 298 different motifs with photos of Swiss views were enclosed with the packs. Unlike other companies, there was no scrapbook for this.[9]

The corporation had a company pension fund in the legal form of a foundation, which has since been dissolved.[10]

In 1988, the staff was allowed to engage in artistic activities for two weeks under the guidance of Jörg Lenzlinger, Rolf Konrad and Werner Casty.[11]

Sullana cigarette boxes are highly traded collectibles on eBay.[2]

Literature

  • Association “Neu-Zürich” (ed.): “Kreis 5”. Special issue of Neu-Zürich in word and picture. Zurich 1940.[12]
  • Open house press kit, September 28, 1985 (archived on the Wetzikon Local Archives History Wiki; PDF; 4.5 MB; accessed April 16, 2018).
  • Sullana AG (Wetzikon): Sullana AG (cigarette factory) – Wetzikon: document collection. Newspaper clippings, 1967.[13]

Web links

Individual references

  1. a b c Zürcher Oberländer of February 2, 1967 (quoted from the history wiki of the local archives of Wetzikon).
  2. a b c d e f Martin Huber The cigarette advertisement from happier smoking days. In: Tages-Anzeiger. 31. January 2011.
  3. Zürcher Oberländer of 17 November 1966 (quoted from the history wiki of the Wetzikon local archive).
  4. Zürcher Oberländer of 11 July 1983 (quoted from the history wiki of the Wetzikon local archive).
  5. Zürcher Oberländer of 3 July 1986 (quoted from the history wiki of the Wetzikon local archive).
  6. Zürcher Oberländer of 3 October 1996 (quoted from the history wiki of the Wetzikon local archive).
  7. Hillmar Höber Homage to the imperial “tobacco regime”. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 19. March 2003.
  8. DV Bern AG:Sullana GmbH.Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  9. List of issued motifs on sammelbilderalben.ch.
  10. Welfare and pension fund of the company Sullana AG at Moneyhouse.
  11. Zürcher Oberländer of 15 November 1988 (quoted from the history wiki of the Wetzikon local archive).
  12. Association “Neu-Zürich” (ed.): “Kreis 5”, special issue of ‘Neu-Zürich’ in word and picture, Zurich, 1940 (document). Zurich City Archives.
  13. Sullana AG (cigarette factory) on WorldCat.