Valmet Automotive Appoints New CEO

Production plant in Uusikaupunki is building Mercedes cars, and is one of the region's biggest employers.

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File picture of car outside Valmet factory / Credit: Valmet Automotive

One of the west coast’s biggest employers has hired a new CEO.

Valmet Automotive announced today it was hiring Olaf Bongwald, to fill the role that has been empty since the previous CEO Ilpo Korhonen was fired in January.

“The company has a longstanding reputation for high quality and deep capability among the leading German automotive companies” says Bongwald, who has a long track record of working in the automotive industry.

The 51-year-old executive will be based in Germany.

Valmet Automotive has 5,500 employees in Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain, and has been one of the economic success stories of Finland’s Satakunta region.

With a plant in Uusikaupunki, Valmet inked an important deal in 2017 with German car giant Daimler to start producing a new Mercedez-Benz model during this year.

It means the company needed to add another thousand workers on top of the people already at the plant, producing two different types of Mercedes.