April 10, 2013
KONE Corporation, press release, 10 April 2013
KONE celebrated the official opening of its new KONE Park manufacturing site, engineering facility and research and development (R&D) centre in the Kunshan New and Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in Eastern China today. At some 240,000 square metres, the purpose-built KONE Park includes three lift factories and an escalator factory, and is KONE's largest manufacturing unit in the world.
"We are proud of the Kunshan KONE Park, which enables us to better meet our customers' needs in China, the rest of Asia, and, indeed, the rest of the world", said Heikki Leppänen, Executive Vice President, KONE New Equipment Business. "While China is by far the single biggest market for new lifts and escalators, products from Kunshan are also exported to more than 90 countries."
The opening ceremony was attended by Finnish Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Stubb, Kunshan Mayor Lu Jun, as well as KONE Chairman Antti Herlin, and KONE President and CEO Matti Alahuhta.
KONE Park was planned according to KONE's global supply network needs and the lean manufacturing principle, aimed at maximising efficiency and eliminating waste. Emphasis has also been on further reducing energy and water use as well as the unit's carbon footprint. KONE Park was constructed according to modern green building standards and aims to earn a LEED Gold green building certification.
The new site, which began operations in phases during 2012, is located close to the Suzhou-Shanghai Expressway, enabling good connections to both suppliers and customers. It replaces an older facility, which has also been located in Kunshan and has included both lift and escalator production as well as research and development.
The three new Kunshan lift module factories produce lift cars, lift electrification products and lift motors. The escalator factory produces both commercial and heavy-duty escalators as well as horizontal and inclined autowalks. KONE Park also includes one of KONE's eight global R&D centres. A new high-rise test tower is under construction at the expanded Kunshan R&D site. The tower supports the development of KONE's People Flow® solutions for skyscrapers and will be opened in 2014.
KONE began operations in China in 1996, when it registered the KONE Lifts Co. Ltd. subsidiary. The first Kunshan factory was opened in 1998 at a site that is now in the midst of a residential area. KONE also operates through its majority-owned GiantKONE joint venture. KONE has a network of over 350 locations in China, employing some 8,900 people. Last year, KONE became the leading company in the Chinese market in terms of new lift and escalator orders.
For further information, please contact:
Anne Korkiakoski, EVP, Marketing & Communications, KONE Corporation, tel. +358 204 75 4775
KONE is one of the global leaders in the lift and escalator industry. The company has been committed to understanding the needs of its customers for the past century, providing industry-leading lifts, escalators and automatic building doors as well as innovative solutions for modernisation and maintenance. The company's objective is to offer the best People Flow® experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanising environment. In 2012, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 6.3 billion and around 40,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. in Finland.