Moving to Suolahti

1969 1979 Suolahti

An assembly plant had already been built in Tourula. However, when tractors with cabs were launched at the end of the 1960s, the hall was found to be too low. For a long time factory management had been talking about the 5000-Plan, the manufacturing of 5000 tractors per year. Management of the Tourula Works had already purchased a building site and planned a modern factory on the Jyväskylä industrial area, only 5 km from Tourula, for the purpose, and had even made a clearing in a handsome pine forest for the building.

It was like being thrown into a cold shower when the planners received a message that the State Bureau, which co-ordinated state companies, had got the site of the bankrupt business Mikro Oy in Suolahti in its hands. The clear order was given to stop the building project in Jyväskylä and move tractor assembly to Suolahti.

Mr Väinö Lindell, who had been working on the new assembly factory project for years, remembers both the negative and the positive sides of the matter: “ It was evident that the personnel would face many difficult years because their work would be moving some 45 kilometres from Jyväskylä to Suolahti. There was the problem of housing the family, schools for the children and much more. But better times were to come.”

“On the other hand expansion of the tractor business outside Jyväskylä was a good idea: there were young people in Suolahti who needed employment and who could assemble tractors”, says Lindell.

The factory opened at the beginning of September 1969. However, it took some time before the new factory at Suolahti was recognised as a more important tractor site than Tourula. The building of the transmission manufacturing hall at Suolahti in 1974 was another concrete example of the company’s commitment to the project, further reinforced when the building was extended a few years later.