Monday, May 16, 2011

Finnish Forces Unhappy with Sisu Vehicles

The Finnish Army’s equipment department would like to cease co-operation with truck manufacturer Sisu Auto. According to an equipment department memorandum, there have been complaints about the quality of the all-terrain vehicles provided by Sisu Defense Oy, the company’s defence arm.

Finnish carmaker Sisu Auto has been the Finnish Defence Forces’ most important all-terrain vehicle supplier since the 1930s. Now the relationship looks to be drifting into crisis.

According to the memo, the performance and quality of all-terrain vehicles has been seriously lacking for some time. According to the Equipment Department’s memo there are specific deficiencies in the vehicles’ safety, their ignition, their batteries and in visibility from the cabs.

Ministerial Counsellor Jouko Tuloisela says that the Defence Ministry is aware of the situation. “Sisu has been one of our main all-terrain vehicle suppliers,” said Tuloisela. “There has been a delay in vehicle deliveries recently, and there have been comments and complaints about the quality of the company’s work.”

According to Tuloisela the matter is ongoing with Sisu, and the Ministry would like to identify the specific problems.

In any case, the Equipment department’s memo harshly criticises Sisu Defence Oy. The department even recommends that the department does not order any more vehicles from Sisu Defence Oy.

The Defence Forces have ordered more than 50 million euros worth of different kinds of vehicles from Sisu in recent years. The company intends to deliver the final 300 or so vehicles by the end of this year.

The previously state-owned and now family-owned Sisu-group has in the last few years outsourced or sold off a lot of its operations. According to the Army’s memo, one possible cause of the delivery and performance issues could be the complicated company structure.

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