History of the company
In 1950 Vilho Lankinen, a young man with entrepreneurial spirit founded a machinery workshop, 'Lankisen Konepaja' near Loimaa, in the village of Hintsala. In the early days, roof tile machines and passenger car exhaust systems were manufactured among other usual workshop works.
Attachments and Loaders
Manufacturing of work attachments for tractors at the workshop was begun in the mid 50's. At the end of the decade, the workshop also started to manufacture front loaders for tractors, which were sold over the following decades in large quantities under the name of the ‘Vila’, which also lasted for a long time in the name of the company’s own work attachment product line.
In the 60s, as front loaders and work attachments formed the majority of the production, the company also started manufacturing special use machines built on tractor bodies, first under brand Vilske, then Valtra VL. With the focus on the environment and property maintenance tasks new machines were developed, including from ground up designed street sweeping machine, VL 45.
The Birth of Wille
Understanding the versatile needs of customers Vilho Lankinen set up in 1978 a completely new, multifunctional and articulated machine under project name ‘Linkku’. The multi-functional base machine concept for environmental and property maintenance tasks complemented well the long-standing work attachment production.
The multi-functional base machine concept for environmental and property maintenance tasks complemented well the long-standing work attachment production.
As the project progressed, the project name was switched for Vilho's nickname Wille, and the first prototype of the machine saw daylight in 1980. The first production machine, model Wille 645, was delivered to the first customer three years later. The exports of Wille machines began in the late 1980s and were initially directed to neighboring countries in Sweden and Norway.
Joining Wihuri Group
In 2003, a property maintenance equipment focused company and manufacturer of Wille machines became a part of the Wihuri Group, which had already been the official sales organisation of Wille machines in Finland, as Wihuri acquired a majority holding in Vilakone Oy. In the following year, 3,000th Wille was delivered to a customer. Since then the total number of Wille machines sold has already well over doubled, with hundreds of machines being sold annually, while over 10,000 of Wille compatible work attachments have been manufactured over the years.
Continuous product development and expanding to new market areas have always been the key factors for company’s success. With strong export growth, Wille has plowed its way to several European countries as well as North America, Russia and even near North Pole located Svalbard.