In 1968, Finnish Valmet and Swedish Saab-Scania established the Saab-Valmet joint venture with a car plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The production of Saab cars started in 1969, first for the domestic customers, but soon the high quality opened doors to export markets.
Since 1992, the company was owned by Valmet alone and focused on contract manufacturing. In 1995 the company was renamed Valmet Automotive. From 1999 to 2010, Metso Group was the sole owner. Since November 2010, the major shareholders in Valmet Automotive have been Metso Corporation and the Finnish investment companies Pontos Group and Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.
Valmet Automotive renewed its strategy in 2008. The range of engineering services was proliferated, the Board was strengthened by top names of the automotive industry, and a global contact network was set to facilitate customer communication. In 2010, Valmet Automotive founded Business Services to help customers in the critical steps that precede engineering and follow manufacturing.
In late 2010, the acquisition of former Karmann convertible roof business operations in Europe elevated Valmet Automotive to one of the largest roof systems manufacturers in the world. Valmet Automotive has three production sites – Uusikaupunki in Finland, Osnabrück in Germany and Zary in Poland – and a century's worth of combined experience in manufacturing special vehicles and convertible roofs. Today Valmet Automotive has a unit also in Shanghai, China.
In December 2014, Metso sold its shares so that Pontos, Industry Investment and the company management now continue as the owners.