For demanding professionals
This heading refers to the marketing message of the Sisu Polar lineup by Sisu Auto. A forerunner in the development of heavy vehicles, the company is proud of its Polar lineup, and for a good reason. The gutsy Finnish company is known for its vehicles even though the manufacture of heavy vehicles only makes up half of the company’s net sales. Sisu Auto is determinedly building a future based on new vehicle technologies and service business. That is the work they are doing at Joensuu Science Park.
Timo Korhonen, an entrepreneur and the Managing Director of Sisu Auto, a company that is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, has a lot on his plate, to put it mildly. Korhonen became the sole owner of the company in 2013, at which time he set a clear goal: Sisu is a company that needs to get back on track. Clarification of the company’s strategy has required vigorous development and record-breaking investments.
Korhonen was not satisfied by merely distinguishing the company from mass producers and maximising the benefits to customers. Instead, he decided to turn the top-notch Finnish brand into an export product of Finnish expertise. Now Finnish Sisu is a synonym for quality in China, for example. The product development and expertise export market is one reason why Sisu Auto established an office in Joensuu.
- “We are firmly gazing towards eastern Finland. As a company established in Karjaa, that is where the cities in which we are interested, Joensuu and Lappeenranta, are located”, Timo Korhonen explains.
Sisu Auto’s Joensuu office has been at Joensuu Science Park for almost a year now. Automation engineer Juha Markkanen works at Länsikatu.
Automation is part of everything
Juha Markkanen used to work with industrial customer delivery projects in Tampere. As an automation engineer, he was working with paper machines, power plants, windmills and robots. When Korhonen asked Markkanen a year ago whether he would be interested in working for Sisu Auto, the automation expert was perplexed at first.
- “I was wondering what on earth an automation engineer could have to do with the manufacture of trucks. Soon I found out that experts in several fields – including automation – have an exceptionally large role in the future of Sisu Auto”.
Markkanen works as a product development project manager in Sisu Engineering Oy. His ongoing projects are top secret, but important news will be published during this spring.
- The industry is experiencing a major change. “After having focused on the vehicle industry for a year, I understand now how quick the development is at present. And that is how it should be, as diesel-powered vehicles will no longer be allowed after 2025 in Paris, France, for example.
We can always do things a little smarter, develop new features, improve the quality and react to customer needs even faster”. Markkanen believes that the profitable business of supporting the traditional manufacture of heavy vehicles can also be found from the fields of product development and project management services.
Without compromising quality
Sisu Auto’s strategy is completely different from its competitors in, for instance, that the Karjaa factory makes unique and fully ready four- and five-axle trucks and special vehicles. “Heavy vehicles like Sisu Rock and Sisu Timber are needed in excavation and timber transport, for example, while Sisu Works road maintenance vehicles are the market leader; these heavy-duty road maintenance vehicles are also exported to Norway.
- We control the whole process, from design to manufacture and from painting to bodies. For customers, such a factory outfitting approach means shorter lead times and full warranty for the entire delivery. A Sisu vehicle is a profitable investment that will retain its value and has a service network that covers the whole of Finland”, Markkanen points out.
Sisu Auto exports its expertise to China. Several projects are currently ongoing.
- European solutions are in high demand in China; competitive advantages within the large company are actively sought. The core of the business is the design and development work in Finland. The Chinese use the results of this work to improve the trucks they produce.
Work available to experts
The Sisu Engineering product development team is a diversified team of experts. Each team member is a project manager in charge of his or her area of responsibility. There is plenty of responsibility, but the responsibility and the trust shown by the employer also motivate the committed employees.
- “We actively utilise the services of our supplier network in our customer deliveries. Cooperation with educational establishments and research institutes is also of the utmost importance. The cooperation is close; we are continuously thinking about making new contacts and studying new opportunities for cooperation”.
In the office of Juha Markkanen at Joensuu Science Park, there is a ready-made workstation for the company’s next expert. There is a job opening for a good person. Markkanen believes that the right kind of professional will be found in Eastern Finland.
- “There are great educational establishments in both Lappeenranta and Joensuu. Furthermore, I believe that people around here are positive, extroverted in just the right way and willing to cooperate. Such a person is excellent for the Sisu team”.
Markkanen says that the Sisu Auto Group is a place where you can show your skills and where people are trusted. People often and fluently work remotely.
FACT: Oy Sisu Auto Ab
- Sisu Auto is a trailblazer in the development of heavy vehicles
- Established in 1931
- Has had several owners over the decades, such as the state of Finland in the 1970s
- Since 2013, the owner and managing director has been entrepreneur Timo Korhonen
- The group consists of civil, military and specialised vehicle business and production, vehicle product development and international vehicle technology project services
- The Group companies are Sisu Auto Trucks Oy, Sisu Defence Oy and Sisu Engineering Oy
- Has a head office in Karjaa, Finland
- The Group employs around 100 people
- Net sales are around EUR 26 million