We have been talking for a year now about sailing the stormy seas of the wind industry, pulling on the same rope and steering the right course – it’s the metaphor we use to represent our corporate strategy to Win the World of Wind (WWOW!)
This is also an important time in our company history. How can the proposed acquisition by GE carry us forward? At the same time as we look ahead to what comes next, we need to look back with great pride at our heritage and what we have accomplished.
Today LM Wind Power is the world’s leading supplier of wind turbine blades, with manufacturing facilities across the globe. But our story began long before that as a wooden furniture company, in a small Danish town called Lunderskov.
Founded in 1940, we produced a range of glass fiber products over the following decades: camping trailers, fish tanks, train fronts…the list goes on. But our most-renowned products from these early days are the LM Glasfiber sailboats.
Even today, these sailboats from the 1950s through 1980s are known for their high quality and reliability – like the wind turbine blades we continue to build today, in the same Danish town where LM was founded over half a century ago.
An idea is born
It all began in a carpool. Every day, four colleagues in Denmark drive between Lunderskov and Aarhus – more than an hour drive, with plenty of time for big ideas!
One day they got to thinking about our boat-building heritage and came up with the idea of using the sailing metaphor to represent the WWOW! strategy. And one idea led to another.
“If we already have the sailboat on paper, why not have it for real?” said Frank Bianchi, Project Manager, Technology Projects.
Sometimes people in LM Wind Power go beyond the job – it’s not so unusual. But this proposal was. Frank and Jesper Høeg, Add-ons Team Leader, went to our management team with a detailed proposal to buy an original LM Mermaid – the flagship LM sailing yacht.
It wasn’t an easy sell, as the financial challenges in our not-too-distant past have made the management team very cost-conscious. But, recognizing Frank and Jesper’s passion and drive, the CEO and management team supported the project unanimously!
The search begins
Now with approval and budget to purchase an LM Mermaid, there was just one little problem: only 10 of these boats were ever built, and none of them were on the market!
How do you find such a rare boat, on a tight budget, in your limited spare time?
Watch the story unfold here.
Meet our LM Heritage boat
This original LM Mermaid sailboat - named Aphrodite – came home to Lunderskov on March 7, 2017. It was unveiled during the 2017 WWOW! strategy event, where a captivated audience of 130 colleagues watched the film about Frank and Jesper’s search for the LM Mermaid.
Watch their reactions here.
This original LM yacht will now live on Kolding Fjord in Denmark. It will be managed and sailed by our employees, under the supervision of LM Captains trained for the purpose.
A sailor himself, CEO Marc de Jong is eager for his first voyage on the LM Mermaid.
“This will be a safety training opportunity, a storytelling opportunity, a great place to meet, a way to get together informally, to thank each other and our teams, to excite our customers and we hope also help us express our long term presence to the wider Kolding community,” Marc said.
“I’m proud that this piece of LM heritage will be maintained and used by as many of our colleagues as possible, and I want to thank Frank Bianchi and Jesper Høeg for their huge effort to make this happen.”
Bringing the LM Mermaid home
Follow the thrilling story of two dedicated colleagues who brought a piece of our heritage home to Lunderskov, Denmark.
The dramatic unveiling
On March 7, 2017 the LM Mermaid came home to Lunderskov, Denmark, and 130 surprised colleagues were there to meet her. Watch their reactions as they viewed the video above: "Bringing the LM Mermaid home."
Lunderskov Møbelfabrik, or in English Lunderskov Furniture Company, is where it all started — a long way from the massive composite structures LM Wind Power produces today.
Meet our LM Heritage Boat
History of wind