Sleipner reports strong growth and significant future investment during a visit from the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg

Sleipner reports strong growth and significant future investment during a visit from the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg

On Wednesday the 19th of September, marine technology company, Sleipner Motor, welcomed Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, to a company presentation and factory tour. The Prime Minister had already heard about Sleipner and was interested to learn how the company has managed to maintain its world-leading position as a manufacturer based in Norway, with ever-present and tough competition from other lower-cost manufacturing countries.

CEO Mr Arne Kai Skauen explained that Sleipner`s long term philosophy; self-made is well made, still stands as a core value.

"We have tried to source parts and components from low-cost countries, but they just can't deliver the level of quality and the consistency we need in the relatively low individual volumes that is the challenge in our industry. When we manufacture parts in-house, using our own modern CNC machines, we have total control over the whole procedure and can ensure the necessary quality associated with our brand is always achieved and continually maintained."

Erna Solberg visits Sleipner Motor AS
Prime Minister Erna Solberg and CEO Mr. Arne Kai Skauen sharing a joke during the company tour.

Now in it's 110th year, Sleipner report strong growth and big plans for the future. "We continue to focus very hard on innovation. Our in-house R&D department currently consists of 18 employees in addition to also actively using several external specialists for particular leading-edge technologies that are needed in our very exciting research projects. We are also actively seeking to expand our inhouse development to some 22 people now" says Mr. Skauen.

During the Prime Minister's visit, Sleipner presented plans to build a brand new and modern factory by the water in Fredrikstad, Norway.

"We are in need of much more space to realize our research projects and to streamline our production requirements for the future" said Arne Skauen. "The proposed new factory will house both administration, R&D and manufacturing, as well as a dedicated test station, built out into the sea and a rigging station for our 58ft test vessel".

While inspecting architectural drawings for the new factory, which, with its similar waterside location, partly resembles the look & feel of the famous Opera building by the sea in Oslo, the Prime Minister, in a light-hearted moment, replied "It looks like you people here at Sleipner are building an Opera House all of your own!"

"We are proud of what we do, and I believe a new factory should reflect that" replied Arne, who then added "As the new factory will be located in the centre of our fine city, it doesn't hurt that it should be designed and built a bit nicer looking than the average factory. Now, the only thing missing is the final permit to build, which we are now all eagerly awaiting for." says Mr. Skauen.

The new Sleipner Motor building
The new Sleipner building will be an impressive welcome for people coming to Fredrikstad by boat.
The new Sleipner Motor building
Test laboratory over and into the water on the left side.
Erna Solberg visits Sleipner Motor AS
The Prime Minister took her time during the factory tour and had many questions to the employees.

Summarising what had been a pleasant and highly worthwhile ministerial visit, Sleipner CEO Arne Kai Skauen said “The fact that Erna Solberg, our Prime Minister, found time to visit us and expressed such interest in our export achievements amidst tough foreign competition, was a very proud moment for all of us.”

Erna Solberg visits Sleipner Motor AS
Key information about Sleipner Motor AS
  • World leading marine technology company based in Fredrikstad, Norway. ISO 9001 certified.
  • Manufacturing Side-Power thrusters, roll stabilizers and steering systems for work and leisure boats up to approx. 160 feet
  • Established in 1908
  • Most leading boat builders in the world on the client list
  • In-house R&D department with 18 engineers & technicians divided into the fields of mechanics, electronics, software and hydraulics
  • 145 full time employees in the group
  • Worldwide sales and service, with its own companies in Denmark, England, Finland, Germany and Sweden
  • Over 80% of the production is exported
  • 15% growth so far in 2018
  • CEO: Arne Kai Skauen
Sleipner Motor Testbåt
The R&D team has a dedicated 58' test vessel which undergoes heavy sea trials under all conditions to ensure product quality and performance.
  • 2004: Company of the Year in Fredrikstad
  • 2008: Export Company of the Year in Østfold county
  • 2011: NMMA Innovation Awards (USA) for Proportional Thrusters
  • 2013: DAME overall winner. Design Award METS. (Regarded as the industry's own "Oscars")