Valmet Automotive has announced that it is expanding its global presence with the opening of new offices in Detroit and Shanghai.

For the Shanghai office, opened in late 2011, Valmet has built a local organisation that will work in the areas of supply chain management, engineering, sales and project management. In Shanghai, the office benefits from vicinity of several manufacturers' and subcontractors' main offices. Also, Valmet's established relations with the Chinese automotive companies will be an important asset to the office, the company says.

In January 2012, Valmet Automotive opened an office in Detroit, located close to the major US and foreign car manufacturers' main offices. The office works in the areas of supply chain management, engineering and sales. Initially, it will focus on roof systema services in close cooperation with the Osnabrück roof systems engineering team.

"Valmet is strategically growing in the major automotive markets. We are well established in Europe, and we are now strengthening our presence with brand offices in China and the USA. Valmet Automotive wants to be globally close to the customers to further improve the customer communications and cooperation," says Ilpo Korhonen, President, Valmet.

Valmet also announced that its roof system unit in Osnabrück is the newest member of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). The membership in the association promoting research and clean and safe mobility is logical for Valmet as a globally leading provider of convertible roof systems.

The company has also selected engineering as a strategic focus area. Valmet has expanded its range to offer a complete set of services to OEMs. The company now features four integrated business lines - engineering, manufacturing, roof systems, business services - all of which support each other and create a sum larger than its parts.

"The current change in the industry indicates a strong growth in demand of engineering services. The automotive customers prefer one-stop shopping of engineering and manufacturing services," says Dr. Heinrich Petra, Senior Vice President of Engineering Services, Valmet Automotive.

Valmet is also applying a two-fold approach to EV engineering. The company is reinforcing the R&D efforts, while simultaneously complementing them with an integrator role.

"For decades, automotive industry has leaned on highly standardised solutions. Now they are no longer applicable; the powertrain for example must be engineered for every EV model separately," said Markus Hirvonen, Project Manager, Valmet Automotive.