top of page


Truck maker Sisu Auto is situated in Raseborg, Finland. Its name is derived from the Finnish word sisu, which means guts, grit, and resolve.

A division of Sisu Auto called "Sisu Defence" manufactures high mobility tactical vehicles for use by the military.


On April 1st, 1931, Oy Suomen Autoteollisuus Ab was founded (SAT). It came from two nearby car coach makers in Helsinki, Autokoritehdas and Autoteollisuus-Bilindustri, both of whom were experiencing financial difficulties at the start of the 1930s. The banks who were financing both businesses pressured them to combine their activities under a single organization. Emil Anton Winckelmann, Lars Wilhelm berg, and Karl Arthur Nordgren were the organization's founders. John Hellsten was chosen as the company general manager during the inaugural business meeting, while Tor Nessling was chosen as the technical manager.

Initially, SAT carried on the coachbuilding business that it had inherited from its forebears while simultaneously putting into action the concept to make its own cars, which had been developed earlier when Autoteollisuus-Bilindustri had placed an order for a few Volvo chassis to be outfitted. The first pre-series of automobiles were built using this chassis.

SAT began looking for a solid brand for its products as soon as the company got off the ground. The corporation organized a name competition in the early summer of 1932, which was announced in Helsinki's major newspapers. Many people were interested in the competition, and between 3,000 and 4,000 proposals were submitted. In the middle of June 1932, the jury convened at the Hotel Kämp in Helsinki to choose the winner. Sisu ("guts; stamina; stubbornness, determination"), Karhu ("bear"), and Haukka were chosen as the final three finalists ("hawk"). Sisu eventually won the choice. The lucky winner of the $1,000 prize was little Veikko Arohonka, who was really signed up by his elder brother Eino, who subsequently became a writer, since many others had recommended the winning name.


bottom of page