What it takes to become a supplier to Koenigsegg

There aren’t many megacars in the world, but Swedish Koenigsegg is one of them. The happy owner of a Koenigsegg Jesko is also enjoying top-notch tube bending technology, made in Skillingaryd.

To become a supplier to Koenigsegg, you must be a super professional at what you do.

Say the name Koenigsegg to a car enthusiast and they’ll never stop talking. Koenigsegg Automotive is Sweden’s only, and one of the world’s very few manufacturers of supercars. Or as they call them, megacars. A megacar is just what it sounds like: A real luxury vehicle with ultra-innovative technology and design. A megacar has to be faster and more attractive than its competitors. It must press the boundaries of what’s possible and set new standards of performance. In Koenigsegg’s case it’s about handcrafted cars with advanced metals and carbon fibre frames. The company’s founder, Christian von Koenigsegg, manufactured his first car in 1994, when he was just 22 years old. Since then, the development have advanced at rocket pace and Koenigsegg is one of the world’s leading brands in the segment today. And it is still a family owned business.

”Haute couture”

“Koenigsegg is ‘haute couture’, each car is unique,” says Shino Lövstad Waldegren, Junior Strategic Purchaser at Koenigsegg.

“When we develop a new model, we first create a prototype to present to the market. The customers – often collectors who have previously owned Koenigsegg cars – order their personal models, which are built entirely to their specifications in terms of equipment, colours and detailing.”

Shino, who is originally from Japan, has many years of experience in the automotive industry and has also worked for Honda in the UK.
Sourcing for a Swedish-manufactured megacar is something entirely different.

“From a purchasing perspective, this is as far from mass production as you can get,” she says. “So it is important for us to find long-term suppliers who understand and enjoy the challenge of producing high-quality prototypes and details in small series at a relevant cost. We work with a network of carefully selected suppliers,
the vast majority of them Swedish, in fact.”

A precision crafted product

One of the selected suppliers is Proton Engineering in Skillingaryd. Exactly what the company manufactures for Koenigsegg is top secret, of course. But if you buy a Koenigsegg Jesko, you can rest assured that part of your investment contains first-class engineering from Skillingaryd.

The Jesko was launched at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2019 and was an instant hit. Intended for track driving, the car has a 5-litre V8 twin turbo engine and is named after Christian von Koenigsegg’s father. The Jesko Absolut version is the fastest Koenigsegg car to date, with a top speed of over 500 kph.

Koenigsegg and Proton Engineering have collaborated before, for example on Koenigsegg prototypes. This time the collaboration is about serial manufacturing,
albeit in much shorter series than Proton Engineering usually delivers to major
truck manufacturers like Volvo and Scania. Last spring, Koenigsegg visited Proton
Engineering in Skillingaryd, and before the partnership was up and running Proton
Engineering’s development team got to visit Koenigsegg’s manufacturing site in Ängelholm as well.

“The cars areunbelievable,” says Proton Engineering’s sales manager Iosif Hampel. “They don’t have traditional production lines, just a few work stations where each car is assembled one by one, with supreme precision. It’s automotive craft of a whole different level, and we’re very proud to be a part of meeting their needs with our own expertise.”

From a purchasing perspective, this is as far from mass production as you can get.

A matter of prestige

No matter who the customer is, whether it is a major truck manufacturer ordering giant volumes or an exclusive sports car maker that produces such short series that can be counted on the fingers of one hand, every relationship is based on trust, Iosif says.

“We are entering into a partnership, where we are contributing our expertise in tube bending, end forming, welding and surface treatment. It’s a matter of professional pride on both sides. Koenigsegg’s designers are incredibly skilled and have clear demands and standards. What we can contribute is suggestions for materials and manufacturing that don’t affect the design, but make the features better. If we can create an even more clever design by welding in a different way – that’s where our skills make a difference.” And of course it’s also a matter of prestige.

“Having the faith of a premium brand like Koenigsegg and working with this type of vehicle is a boon to the Proton Engineering brand and opens the door to other customers. But the most important thing of all is the inspiration! We’re incredibly impressed by the way Koenigsegg operates. Seeing their production is super cool. Or maybe I should say mega cool!” Iosif laughs.

Last spring Koenigsegg announced that they plan to further expand their factory for production of the four-seater model, Gemera. The architecture will be inspired by the accordion design of Swedish industries of old, with high ceilings and lots of daylight, but a futuristic feel with adaptations to meet the development, production
and marketing needs of the future. It will feature a customer lounge, showroom, assembly lines and warehouse, as well as room to grow.

“Fun together”

But what does it take to be chosen as a Koenigsegg supplier? You have to be flexible and a good communicator, says Shino Lövstad Waldegren. And you have to be super professional at what you do:

“We want suppliers who can offer us top-flight expertise in their field of technology, who can inspire us to even better solutions. Then, of course you have to have the ability to deliver, even if we’re not talking about mass production. Flexibility is just as important to us, because we want the freedom to make changes throughout the process.

Koenigsegg is ”haute couture”, every car is unique

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