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Ponsse Group

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The Ponsse Group is a global venture concerned with the development and sale of environmentally friendly, cut-to-length forestry equipment, one aspect of which is the use of  “environmentally compatible” biodegradable hydraulic oil in Ponsse's machines.[1]

The Ponsse Group is headquartered in Vieremä, Finland.

The company, which was named after a stray dog[2], is traded on the NASDAQ OMX Nordic List.


[edit] History

[edit] First Forwarder

The first Ponsse machine was developed by Einari Vidgrén, a Finnish forest worker who was unsatisfied with the forest tractors he was using. In 1969 he produced a forwarder to remedy this. He named the forwarder “Ponsse” after a dog in his village of Vieremä.

The machine, designed for Vidgrén’s own purposes, was eventually put into use at a logging site of the Finnish forestry company Tehdaspuu. The company’s interest in more of these forwarders prompted Vidgrén to take steps to open a machine shop to continue production.

[edit] Setting Up Shop

Once Vidgrén received financial assistance from the Municipality of Vieremä in 1970, he was able to build an industrial plant and establish Ponsse Oy Forest Machine Plant.

The company’s early years were marked by financial hardship as the regional development fund, KERA, did not give Vidgrén financial aid for his new company. Nonetheless, the Ponsse Oy managed to provide employees with enough work manufacturing the forwarders. Before long, more employees needed to be brought in due to a growing demand for the machines.

In this decade, the first mass-produced Ponsse machine, the PAZ forwarder, was introduced. Interested buyers came to view the forwarders before they were even finished. Ponsse Oy was becoming a well known enterprise in the area.

[edit] Moving Forward

The 1980s marked a period of significant growth for Ponsse Oy—production was increased significantly as the company’s reputation became more widespread. Ponsse attributes this growth in recognition to one particular 1985 event: the launch of the Ponsse S15 forwarder.

This forwarder had a chassis that was partly made of aluminum, making it much lighter and more able to negotiate cross-terrain conditions than the others on the market at the time. The machine would leave less noticeable tire tracks in the ground than the forwarders of the competition. The S15 was produced for three years, until 1988.

Another significant addition to Ponsse’s product line was the H520 harvester head, introduced in 1986. With this development, the company’s product family expanded beyond forwarders to include harvesters.

[edit] Growth in the ‘90s

In 1994 Ponsse became the first ISO 9001-certified manufacturer of forestry equipment. Following this, the company began focusing on research and development, leading to a need to expand the factory.

This was the decade during which the company unveiled Ponsse Opti, described as “an advanced measurement and information system for forest machines.”

During this period, the company’s shares began to be publicly quoted on the Helsinki exchanges and Ponsse subsidiaries were established in Sweden, the USA, France, and the U.K.

[edit] New Millenium, New Focus

At the turn of the millennium, Ponsse started to specialize in environmentally friendly forestry machinery.  The Ponsse 10W harvester is equipped with 10 wheels. This reduces the surface pressure applied to soil and minimizes damage done to the forest floor.  Amazingly, the 12 tonne machine exerts only as much pressure as a human foot.[3]

[edit] The Company Today

Today, the Ponsse Group operates in 40 countries and employs approximately 650 people.[4]

The Group’s parent company is Ponsse PLC and its subsidiaries are Ponsse AB (Sweden); Ponsse AS (Norway); Ponssé SAS (France); Ponsse U.K. Ltd. (Great Britain); Ponsse North America Inc. (United States); Ponsse Latin America Ltda. (Brazil); OOO Ponsse (Russia); Ponsse Asia Pacific Ltd. (Hong Kong); Ponsse China Ltd. (China); Ponsse Uruguay SA (Uruguay); and Epec Oy (Finland).

The Ponsse Group has created more than 300 jobs in Upper Savo, Finland.[5]

In 2008, Juho Nummela was named President and CEO.  For the year, the company’s net sales were €293 million; its operating profit was €13.6. A total of 63.3 percent of the Ponsse Group’s sales were generated in international business.[6]

In 2009, Ponsse ran into financial issues. The decline in housing global housing prices decreased the demand for lumber, and therefore forestry equipment. The number of machines sold fell by 74% from the comparable period last year. Net sales were down 50%. The company had to lay off the entire staff temporarily, including 158 employees who lost their jobs permanently.[7]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. History. Official Ponsse website. 06-11-2009.
  2. 1960 - Ponsse sees the light of day. Ponsse [July 3, 2009].
  3. Environmentally friendly and fuel-economic transport solution. Ponsse [July 3, 2009].
  4. Ponsse Group. Official Ponsse website. 06-11-2009.
  5. History. Official Ponsse website. 06-11-2009.
  6. Annual Report 2008. Official Ponsse website. 06-11-2009.
  7. PONSSE PLC STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 21 APRIL 2009 AT 9:00 A.M. Ponsse PLC [July 3, 2009].

[edit] External Links