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DTS Zwolle

The publicly listed company Wärtsilä Corporation from Finland is the global market leader in manufacturing diesel engines for ship propulsion and electrical power generation. In 2000, Wärtsilä was confronted with a strong decline in business volume and decided to close down its manufacturing facilities in Zwolle, The Netherlands and lay off of 700 people.

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Stibbe Participaties came up with a business plan to save operations in Zwolle, and organized support and commitment from Wärtsilä, the labor unions, work councils and the Dutch government. Stibbe Participaties carved out the manufacturing infrastructure of Wärtsilä in Zwolle and renamed it DTS Zwolle (Diesel Technology Solutions).


After redeveloping the activities in Zwolle in terms of machinery, infrastructure and personnel, DTS was able to specialize itself in the engineering and manufacturing of components for the heavy diesel engine industry. Wärtsilä supported the turnaround of the company with long-term supply agreements and DTS was even allowed to sell its products to Wärtsilä competitors.


Within three years, 75% of DTS’ order intake came from Wärtsilä competitors like Caterpillar and Rolls Royce. The diesel engine industry is a highly cyclical business with large ups and downs. Starting in 2004 Wärtsilä faced a large upswing in the market and entered into talks with Stibbe Participaties about intensifying the cooperation with DTS. In 2006 Stibbe Participaties sold the revitalized DTS Zwolle back to Wärtsilä.

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