Mr Otto Ooms, the founder of Otolift, started his business in the South Holland village of Ammerstol. Here he made stoves for the salmon fishermen and horseshoes for horses that pulled the salmon barges.
The Ooms family was one of the largest ship makers in Ammerstol for years. Otto Ooms increased his focus on shipbuilding. He repaired and built salmon chimneys in his father’s shipyard.
Jan Otto Ooms took over the business from his father. The salmon had now disappeared from the Lek for more than thirty years. That was why Jan Otto focused on a new market: petroleum. In the coming years, he would build and renovate tankers based on the requirements of the customers
When the demand for petroleum decreased, Jan Otto Ooms once again shifted his focus. After the development of the balance lift (a lift that worked with counterweights) and the platform lift, the first stair lift was designed in the late 1960s.
In 1980, the company moved to the neighbouring village of Bergambacht. Otto and Alex Ooms, the children of Jan Otto, took over the company. The production of residential lifts started. Thanks to new innovations, Jan Otto quickly conquered the Dutch market.
A cut in the (municipal) budget for home modifications and increased attention to the environment led to the development of the first reusable stairlift. Mr Visschedijk from Hengelo was allowed to use the first, so-called ‘Flexi-Rail’.
The Flexi-rail had been perfected into the Otolift Two: a compact stairlift on two slim tubes. The Otolift Two could soon be placed along the outside bend of the stairs.
Like the Otolift Two, the Otolift Parallel was a perfected version of previous models. The Otolift Parallel was specially designed for straight stairs. The slim design made this stairlift one of the most compact stairlifts for straight stairs.
Around 2010, Otolift developed Otolift One, a slim and elegant stairlift. Since the 1990s, the design of stairlifts has become increasingly important. The Otolift One can be placed on the outside and on the inside of the stairs. When installed on the inside, the wide side of the steps remains safe to walk on.
Thanks to Otolift One, Otolift won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award from the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany. Not only the design but also the functions of the product is assessed by the jury of this international prize.
At the Rehacare trade fair in Düsseldorf, Otolift introduced a new stairlift: the Otolift Modul-Air. This innovative stairlift was made up of different modules, which drastically shortened the delivery time. The rail was also unique: it is the thinnest single rail in the world.
In 2016, King Willem-Alexander decided to award the Royal Predicate to Otolift. From that moment on, the name changed to Koninklijke Otolift Stairlifts and a crown was added to the logo. The Predicate symbolizes the respect, appreciation and trust of the King in Otolift.
In 2017, Otolift won the FME International Business Award. This award was presented to companies from the technology industry that gained success at an international level.
For the first time in its existence, Koninklijke Otolift took over a company. Otolift strengthened its competitive position with the acquisition of the English brand Meditek. Meditek used to be one of the largest suppliers of stairlifts in England.
Otolift introduced the renewed Otolift Line. This stairlift had been specially developed for straight stairs, inside or outside. What was special about this stairlift was that it had an ICS display. This gave the user insight into the status of the stairlift.
Otolift was declared the winner of the Metaalunie Smart Manufacturing Award 2019. The full amount of the prize money was donated to the KiKa Foundation.