March 04, 2009

Valmet Automotive aims to grow

Enlarged portfolio of services, new vehicle and manufacturing technology and global presence are the key contributors to Valmet Automotive’s growth in the coming years. Mr. Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, presented the company’s new strategy in a press conference at Geneva Motor Show, on the 4th of March.

“The change of automotive customer needs was anticipated and we re-thought our strategy already before the current financial crises started”, said Mr. Korhonen.

“We have undergone fundamental changes especially in the way of approaching new business. In addition to our main facilities in Finland, we are currently represented in Germany, the US, Japan and South Korea. We have established a full range of engineering services and continue to reinforce them.”

The production of some 1,1 million high-quality cars to the worldwide markets creates a strong basis for new manufacturing projects as well as for manufacturing oriented product and process engineering services.

“It is our business target that Valmet Automotive‘s engineering services contribute to our overall turnover of over 20%”, Mr. Korhonen confirmed..

Three main areas of services

Manufacturing: Valmet Automotive’s production quality is recognized as one of the best in the world. Thanks to the multi-skilled personnel and flexible organization also the manufacturing of small quantities can be carried out efficiently and with high quality.

Engineering services include product and manufacturing engineering. The core competences are in BIW, especially lightweight, as well as convertible technologies. Valmet Automotive is recognized for rapid production launches.

Total programs. Valmet Automotive can provide its customers with a total program from product development to manufacturing and handle also supplier management and logistics.

“This very competitive business segment of automotive contract manufactures has changed very much recently. Only the market players, with an international and environmental orientation, a healthy financial background, a track record of continuously high quality production output and a business model with focus on engineering services have made it up to day and will be geared up for the future. Valmet Automotive will be one of them”, Mr. Korhonen said.

 “We have already evidence of the successful implementation of the new strategy. Even in the currently challenging economic situation, we have been able to fill our books with new orders: a new hybrid car, a new electric golf car and new engineering projects.

Two new vehicles into production in 2009

This year Valmet Automotive will start manufacturing to completely new vehicles. The highly innovative Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid vehicle will not only be produced by Valmet Automotive, but Valmet Automotive is also an engineering partner to Fisker Automotive.

The partnership with Fisker Automotive is largely benefiting both companies. Fisker Automotive can rely on absolute premium manufacturing quality - and Valmet Automotive will -as one of the 1st in the automotive industry - enlarge its experience in the most future oriented development.

Valmet Automotive has also concluded an engineering and manufacturing partnership with Danish Garia A/S for electric luxury Golf cars.

Design, chassis construction and materials of Garia golf car are derived from the latest trends in automotive industry. It is planned to produce some thousand of these high end golf cars a year starting in the 3rd quarter 2009 on a separate body and assembly line.

“This underlines Valmet Automotive’s endeavor for creativity and flexibility. We are not afraid to try for new ways to respond to customer needs”, Mr. Korhonen said.

Renewed Porsche Boxster and Cayman in production

In autumn 2008 the renewed Porsche Boxster and Cayman were launched into production after an intensive period of simultaneous and manufacturing engineering. Since 1997 over 200,000 Boxster and Cayman sports cars have been manufactured in Finland.

Valmet Automotive was founded in 1968 as joint venture between Saab-Scania and Valmet. The company has produced some 1,1 Million cars that belong mainly to the premium segment from Saab-models to Porsche sports cars. One third of the cars have been open cars. World-class manufacturing has been supported by tailored engineering services.

Valmet Automotive is a provider of engineering and manufacturing services of premium cars. In nearly 40 years the company has produced over 1,000,000 high-quality vehicles in Finland. The cars have been delivered worldwide. Today Valmet Automotive manufactures Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars for Porsche AG. The manufacturing of Fisker Karma hybrid car will start at the end of 2009. Valmet Automotive is also the engineering and manufacturing partner for the luxury golf car Garia which enters the markets in September. Valmet Automotive is a part of Metso Group.