On 22 November 2022 we were welcomed by the DUJAT and LIOF at the state-of-the-art facility and manufacturing plant of Vekoma Rides Manufacturing BV (Vekoma) in Vlodrop, Limburg. Vekoma is a subsidiary company of Sansei Technologies, Japan. We were hosted in fine Limburgse style by the CEO himself, who started his engineering career some thirty years ago at Vekoma, humbly saying little did he know that he would run this company one day. Vekoma is deeply rooted in the ecosystem of Limburg and boasts being the leading manufacturer and supplier of roller coasters to amusement parks across the globe.
At the top of their priority is safety and quality and because of this strive to utmost safety and perfection, they are widely active in thirty countries across the world including China, USA and Netherlands. Some of their clients include Walibi, Efteling and Toverland, Disney and Universal, and have additional plants in China as well as the USA.
The uniqueness of Vekoma is that their entire business operates under one roof, from its marketing, sales and after-sales, engineering, manufacturing and project management. All of these attributes, as well as their focus on quality in business and production, is why Vekoma won the Limburg Export Award in October 2022. The three independent professional jury members characterized Vekoma as “a company with unique global export growth that, based on knowledge and experience and a focused strategy, has become the market leader in a particularly difficult niche/growth market.”
In 2018, Sansei Technologies, a Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, acquired 100% of Vekoma. Sansei Technologies is headquartered in Osaka, Japan, generated approximately EUR 225 million in revenue in 2017, largely from the sale of rides to theme parks and dynamic stage installations to theaters. With 100% share in Vekoma, Sansei Technologies increased its global market share in roller coaster design, supply and installation.
Vekoma continues to grow as an innovative, high-tech manufacturer of roller coasters and has geographically positioned itself as the preferred supplier to leading theme park owners. Since their acquisition by Sansei Technologies, they have continued to expand their leadership in the global market for roller coasters and other theme park attractions. Kees van Biert, chairman of the Supervisory Board, explains: “A solid foundation has been laid in recent years, in which safety, innovation, quality and customer satisfaction have served as spearheads of our policy. In Sansei we have found a reputable partner, with equivalent standards and values, who can provide continuity to the company and take us even further. Through their presence and contacts, we also see opportunities to better serve new regions, such as Japan, Southeast Asia and North America.”
Our team also had the opportunity to learn more about LIOF. LIOF is the regional development agency for Limburg and supports innovative entrepreneurs with advice, network and financing. They assist start-ups, scaleups and small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) who want to establish themselves in Limburg. LIOF, together with various entrepreneurs and partners, are working towards a smarter, more sustainable and healthier Limburg by focusing on the transitions of energy, circularity, health and digitalization.
We would like to thank the DUJAT, LIOF and Vekoma for hosting this thrilling ride! Not only did we learn about the rigorous extensivity that Vekoma places on the safety and exceptionally high quality of their products, but also the fun that goes into the process of manufacturing a coaster. Be it a launch coaster that includes no less than three airtime hills and inversions, or a family coaster such as an optical illusion attraction that will make you question the rules of gravity with intense feelings of weightlessness and of being upside down, no G-forces or high speed involved! Let the ingenuity of Vekoma move you!