November 13, 2009
The 40th anniversary of car manufacturing
Today on the 13th of November, exactly 40 year ago the first car rolled out of the assembly line in the new Saab-Valmet factory in Uusikaupunki. The car was a Saab 96 and it was delivered to Mr. Urho Kekkonen, then the president of Finland. Today the car can be seen at the local car museum close to the factory, of course.
Simultaneosly with the construction work of the factory itself, future employees were trained at a near-by education center in Laitila. Technical knowhow was also deepened at the Saab factories in Trollhättan, which in the beginning also delivered the painted bodies to Uusikaupunki. However, within only some months the work at own body shop and paint shop were started.
In November-December 1969 altogether 187 Saabs were manufactured. By the end of the year the personnel amounted to 227 with the age average being 26. Still today 8 of those first car builders are working at Valmet Automotive.
In the past 40 years the company has delivered 1,1 million cars to demanding customers worldwide. Car builders in Uusikaupunki have manufactured cars to Saab, PSA Chrysler, General Motors and EuroLada. Currently, Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars are produced for Porsche AG.
Present Valmet Automotive Inc. is a service provider for the automotive industry known for its high production quality, rapid start-ups and talented personnel. Alongside with engineering and manufacturing conventional niche vehicles Valmet Automotive is among the first companies to start series production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
In the last 12 months the company has concluded agreements for engineering and manufacturing of Think City and Garia golf car and the plug-in hybrid car Fisker Karma.