Ponsse: The History of A Great Finnish Company
Short History of Ponsse Oyj
By: Oluwaseun P. Adeola
This article provides brief history of Ponsse’s oyj. A Finnish company with principal activities in the design, manufacture and sale of forest machines for cut-to-length harvesting as well as information technology related to mechanized logging. The Group`s primary markets are in Finland, the rest of Europe and North America.
A forest worker in the year 1970 was displeased with the forest machines that were available at that moment. Out of his displeasure and frustration, he thought he could be a catalyst in the change of the unpalatable working situation in the forest industry to a modern and state-of-the-heart machine that we now have today. Eineri Vidgren, a farmer´s son, remarkably transformed the forest industry to what we have today by founding the Ponsse machine plant in 1970.
The Ponsse Company which today is a major player in the forest machine sector both nationally and internationally started modestly in a machine shop.
Ponsse as a name of a company today was the name of a cross breaded dog in a village called Vieremä in Finland. Eineri Vidgren named the first developed forwarder after his beloved dog.
In the late winter of 1969, a grey, in many people's opinion ungainly load-carrying forest tractor was driven out of a village workshop in Vieremä, marking the moment when the first Ponsse forwarder, developed by contract logger Eineri Vidgren for his own use, first saw the light of day. (Ponsse WebPages 2007) After Eineri Vidgren used the forwarder for personal use in the forest, the Finnish forest company used it at the Tehdaspuu's logging site.
As a result of the ruggedness and efficiency, the Finnish forest company, after using it for a year, requested that Eineri Vidgren manufacture more of the same forwarder. Not long after the municipal government granted economic assistance to establish a plant in 1970, the company experienced a modest and challenged start to her operation as efforts to get financial assistance from the Regional development fund (KERA) was futile. The industrialist, Eineri Vidgren was so resilient and tough enough to disallow insufficient financial support to end the operation of the company.
The historical Ponsse’s first mass-produced machine was the PAZ forwarder; the first buyers came to look at the machines even before they were finished. Deals were struck and the price of the machine was set at EUR 20,000.
The Ponsse spirit was a strong drive which pushed Ponsse to stretching its product line from only forwarder to harvester in 1989. That indeed marks another remarkable milestone in the history of Ponsse Company.
The year 1994 was yet another momentum for the Ponsse Company when it became the first company to manufacturing ISO 9001-certified forest machine. The flourishing days of Ponsse started in the 90s when it increased product lines; subsidiaries were founded in the USA, Sweden, France and UK. The Ponsse shares were publicly quoted at the Helsinki exchange market. As a result of this positive growth, demand increased significantly.
Today, The Ponsse Group is now a globally significant forest machine manufacturer. Ponsse has created over 300 jobs for Upper Savo, and the entire Group employs approximately 800 persons. (Ponsse web pages 2007)
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