Valmet Automotive is extending the battery plant in Salo, Finland after less than 12 months of operation to meet the needs of increased production volumes of battery packs. The extension will increase the production capacity of battery packs and double the number of employees in the next few years. The construction work has already started and will be completed during the summer of 2021.
The extension project of the Salo battery plant allows constructing new larger facilities for logistics and simultaneously building a completely new production line to increase the plant volumes and the range of products to be manufactured. Valmet Automotive will also occupy a remarkable footprint of vacant office space at the Salo IoT Campus.
The production volumes of the Salo plant have recently reached record levels. The plant is operated by Valmet Automotive’s EV Systems business line, which already has manufacturing contracts with three customers, and further manufacturing contracts are in the pipeline. In addition, the EV Systems business line offers also battery engineering and testing services.
The Salo battery plant employs currently about 200 people. With the increased production in the plant, the number of employees is expected to increase to more than 400 during 2021 and 2022. In the current economic environment, this is a clear sign of Valmet Automotive’s successful entry into battery systems and the strong demand for the company’s services.
– Battery systems are the most significant growth area for Valmet Automotive, and we intend to become a key player both as a battery contract manufacturer and as a Tier 1 system supplier. The Salo battery plant plays an important role in our growth plans, says Olaf Bongwald, CEO, Valmet Automotive.
Valmet Automotive estimates that its sales from battery systems and EV solutions will reach or even exceed the sales of vehicle manufacturing in the coming years. Valmet Automotive’s strategy emphasizes the importance of e-mobility in every business line.
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 and kinematic systems, and a key development partner to the global automotive industry. In its strategic development, Valmet Automotive Group focuses on electromobility with developing and supplying modules as well as 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 Salo, near the Uusikaupunki plant, Valmet Automotive opened its first volume production of batteries for the automotive industry in autumn 2019. The company has locations in Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain. 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 leading manufacturer of batteries and battery cells for electric vehicles.