The first car at the Uusikaupunki car plant was completed on November 13, 1969, at 6 am. The car was a Saab 96, unveiled at 3 pm on that day in a gala ceremony to mark the start of car manufacturing. Today, Valmet Automotive has celebrated 50 years of automotive manufacturing at the Uusikaupunki plant with a large group of VIP guests.
The VIP guests were car builders, specialists and directors working at the Uusikaupunki plant when the first car was completed. The event was commenced by Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive, greeting the guests on the behalf of the company. The keynote speakers included the grand old man of Finnish motoring industry, the former company CEO Juhani Linnoinen.
Valmet Automotive, formerly Saab-Valmet, has been an automotive service provider since the late 1960s. In recent years, the company has significantly expanded its operations, but the Uusikaupunki car plant remains the heart of the company, home of Valmet Automotive’s contract manufacturing operations launched on November 13, 1969.
Over the past fifty years, the Uusikaupunki car plant has produced over a dozen different car brands. The production volumes of the plant have risen to over 100,000 cars per year, making the passenger car a leading export product for Finland. In total, over 1.5 million cars have been delivered to customers from Uusikaupunki.
– I want to express my great respect for the will, dedication and skill these former employees have shown to start and develop car manufacturing industry in Finland. This ground-breaking work has made it possible for the company to grow, expand and become more and more international, said CEO Olaf Bongwald.
Mikael Mäki, Manager, Corporate Communications, Valmet Automotive
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The Valmet Automotive Group is one of the largest vehicle contract manufacturers in the world, Tier 1 systems supplier to roof systems and a key development partner to the global automotive industry. In its strategic development, Valmet Automotive Group focuses on electromobility and battery systems. The activities in the group are divided into the four business lines: Manufacturing, Engineering, EV Systems and Roof & Kinematic Systems. Since its founding in 1968, Valmet Automotive has produced more than 1.5 million vehicles at the Uusikaupunki, Finland plant. In 2018, 110,000 vehicles were manufactured, more than ever before in the company’s more than 50-year history. In Salo, near the Uusikaupunki plant, Valmet Automotive will open its first volume production of batteries for the automotive industry in autumn 2019. The company has around 6,000 employees at its locations in Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain (as at: 2018, Dec. 31). The largest shareholders in the Valmet Automotive Group are state-owned Finnish investment company Tesi and the Pontos Group, each with a stake of 38.46 percent. 23.08 percent is held by the Chinese Contemporary Amperes Technology Limited (CATL), the world’s leading manufacturer of batteries and battery cells for electric vehicles.