Professor Jouni Juntunen with a car in front of the University of Oulu main entrance

New professorship strengthens the University of Oulu's expertise in the automotive field

A professorship in automotive business has been established at Oulu Business School. The aim of the professorship is to develop business in the automotive sector, respond to future challenges with the help of research and promote university education in the field. The new position complements the extensive expertise in the automotive field in the various faculties of the University of Oulu. Through the professorship, dialogue and cooperation with national and international automotive networks will also be intensified.

Jouni Juntunen, Doctor of Science in Technology and Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration, has been selected for the two-year fixed-term position on 1 March 2020.

The automotive industry is undergoing major changes due to increased environmental awareness, technological development and young people's new attitudes towards driving. The challenges and changes in the industry apply extensively to both passenger and goods transport. Passenger transport is expected to change dramatically in the next few years.

New business models, such as the platform and sharing economy, play a role in the change.

In goods transport, the share of motor vehicles has traditionally been high. The cost of logistics in a sparsely populated country such as Finland has a significant impact on people's standard of living and on Finland's international competitiveness. On the other hand, a large part of state revenue comes from the taxation of vehicles and transport.

The new Professor Jouni Juntunen is fascinated by the turbulence in the automotive sector. “I find the automotive industry very interesting, and I expect that, in addition to challenges, there will be plenty of business opportunities in this field in the near future”, says Juntunen who has worked in various tasks in the automotive sector in addition to his career as a researcher.

New technologies, environmental protection requirements and operating models enable new business models to emerge and make it possible for existing companies to renew themselves and grow.

He believes that new companies will be created in the sector. “It is high time to start and continue long-term cooperation based on research and knowledge between the public sector and the various actors and companies in the automotive industry”, Juntunen says. The aim is to engage in dialogue with a view to identifying developments and safeguarding the needs of the sector. For example, in Oulu alone, the Automotive cluster includes more than 40 companies.

The professorship is supported by The Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs (AKL) and the foundation for the promotion of vocational training in the automotive sector.

Last updated: 26.3.2020