Ponsse operating in France since 1995
Ponssé SAS, Ponsse's French subsidiary, was established in 1995 in Gondreville, in north-eastern France, where its head office is still located. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary with 200 customers and partners.
The company started operations with a small key team: During the first years, Heikki Tallgren, managing director responsible for sales, was only accompanied by a secretary, storekeeper and accountant. Currently, Ponsse's French operations are run by Clemént Puybaret, together with 27 employees. In addition to Gondreville, the company provides services for its 300 customers from PONSSE service centres in Peyrat le Chateau in central France and Labouheyre in north-eastern France, as well as through eight contractual service partners. The company is responsible for sales, not only in France, but also in Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland (French speaking)
In 1995 when the company was established, only one Ponsse forest machine was sold in France. The French Ponsse pioneer was Mr. Arnaud, a harvesting company based in Limoges, which has been a customer of Ponsse SAS ever since the company's establishment. The company operates in Limoges with eight PONSSE machines. The company also has faith in the future in the logging business: in addition to Mr. Arnaud and his brother, the company is nowadays owned also by his son Christophe.
Changing conditions challenge the forest machine manufacturer
Ponsse has gained a foothold on the highly competed forest machine market, particularly thanks to its machine range suitable for the changing conditions of France. “At the most challenging sites, wood is still being harvested partly manually. However, current machines are excellent on slopes and in soft terrain and, therefore, the degree of mechanical harvesting will inevitably increase,” says Clement Puybaret, Managing Director of Ponsse SAS.
According to Puybaret, the French forest sector is doing fairly well, albeit entrepreneurs need to keep a close eye on their costs. “In order to ensure profitable harvesting, entrepreneurs are constantly in need of more efficient and economical machines. This is an area where we are strong,” Puybaret says. The most popular PONSSE models in France are Ergo and Buffalo, and the majority of harvesting companies are small, having only 1–3 machines.
Every year, some 50 million cubic metres of wood is being harvested in France, with forests covering one-fourth of the country's surface area (17 million hectares). Traditionally, harvesting has focused on hardwood, but the mechanical harvesting of softwood is also increasing because of extensive softwood planting. More than half of all harvested wood, particularly of hardwood, is used as timber. Climate conditions change heavily from oceanic to continental and, as a result, the country offers a wide variety of tree species. The most common species include the fir, spruce, maritime pine, Douglas fir, oak, poplar and birch. In addition to the abundance of tree species, harvesting operations are challenged by the varying terrain, including steep slopes and wet areas. The largest uniform forest areas are located in the mountains and in areas not suitable for cultivation. In recent years, the harvesting of energy wood has increased in France.
In addition to presenting the new model series, the 20th anniversary celebrated Sylvain Gillet, Vincent Lacombes, Pekka Terävä, Franck Martinet, Patrick Siscard and Philippe Gouy who received a trip to Finland as a recognition of their 10 years of service.
Vieremä, 24 September 2015
Jarmo Vidgrén, Sales and Marketing Director, Ponsse Plc, tel. +358 40 519 1486
Clemént Puybaret, Managing Director, Ponssé SAS, tel. +33 60 745 6370