Valmet Buys Karmann Roof Business

After one of the iconic automotive businesses in Europe went under hammer last year, its pieces have been ripped apart and entered the possession of several other carmakers. Yet, the side of the Karmann business which best represented it, convertible roof manufacturing, was left without an owner.

Valmet Automotive, one of the industry's biggest suppliers, announced today it will purchase this part of Karmann. This means the company's assets in Germany and Poland will be taken over by Valmet, with the transaction expected to conclude by the end of the current year.

"This acquisition is so far the most significant step in our strategy to expand internationally and to become a leading supplier of a wide range of services for the automotive industry,” said Ilpo Korhonen, Valmet Automotive president.

“The engineering and manufacturing of convertible roofs at Karmann represents the best of the industry, and its customers include BMW/Mini, Daimler, Renault and Bentley.”

The convertible roof business in the US and Mexico have been taken over by the Webasto Group. The European operations caught the eye of Canadian supplier Magna, who was rejected by the Bundeskartellamt, Germany's Federal Cartel Office.

Valmet will take over an operation which comprises 700 people in Osnabrück, Germany, and Zary, Poland. The net revenue of the business this year is estimated at 180 million ($253 million). In the future, Valmet hopes the move would secure it a better place in the front row of the convertible segment.

“The manufacturing of convertibles in Europe is estimated to reach the pre-recession level of about half a million cars by 2012–2013,” added Korhonen. "The roof systems of convertibles require special know-how, and they are often acquired from specialised suppliers."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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