History and key figures

The Mobilia Foundation was founded in 1986 by Olavi and Lilja Sallinen.

Olavi Sallinen started his hobby with museum cars already in the 1950s. Over the decades, his collections grew, and in 1982, he opened his first museum in Vehoniemenharju, Kangasala. The museum began to gain fame and glory under the name Vehoniemi Automobile Museum.

In 1986, Lilja and Olavi Sallinen established the Vehoniemi Automobile Museum Foundation to support their museum activities, and around the same time, the foundation opened a second museum in Kangasala under the name Finnish Military and Special Vehicle History Museum. The establishment of the foundation and the expansion of the museum’s activities were made possible by Sallinen’s simultaneous relinquishment of the bulk of his extensive business activities.

In 1991, the Vehoniemi Automobile Museum Foundation became a public foundation when A-Katsastus Oy (formerly the Central Motor Register), the municipality of Kangasala, the Ministry of Defence, and the Road Administration (formerly the National Board of Roads and Waterways) joined the foundation and agreed to establish a more comprehensive road transport museum. In this context, the Road Museum was added to the Foundation’s group of museums.

The Vehoniemi Automobile Museum, the Finnish Museum of Military and Special Vehicle History, and the Road Museum adopted the name Mobilia in 1992. Mobilia moved from the Vehoniemi ridge to its new premises in Kisaranta, Kangasala, in 1994.

In 1997, Mobilia achieved one of its key objectives when the Ministry of Education designated it as a national museum specialising in road transport.

In 1999, the Vehoniemi Automobile Museum Foundation changed its name to Mobilia Foundation in line with its strategy. In 2002, Mobilia added collection hotel services to its service concept. In 2003, Mobilia’s collection hotel services were recognised with special merit in the Finnish Museum Quality Award competition, where Mobilia was the only museum to receive the award.

In 2020, the Ministry of Education and Culture designated Mobilia as the national responsibility museum of road transport.

Currently, the Mobilia Foundation brings together 29 road transport associations. The foundation has a turnover of around € 1.6 million and an average staff of 18 people.

The foundation’s management

The governing bodies of the Mobilia Foundation are the Body of Representatives and the Board of Directors. The Foundation’s activities are guided by the Body of Representatives, which includes members from the Foundation’s supporting communities.

The Board of Directors is responsible for the finances and other activities of the foundation in accordance with the Foundation Act. The Board is chaired by Harri Vitikka (Pirkanmaa ELY Centre) and vice-chaired by Johanna Järvinen (City of Kangasala). Other members are Harri Huusko (Finnish Defence Forces), Janne Mäkilä (A-Katsastus Oy), Ari Tenhonen (Finnish Taxi Owners’ Federation), Pekka Hjon (The Association of Automotive Technical Societies in Finland), and Juhana Saarela (The Historical Vehicle Association of Finland SAHK). The deputy members of the Board are Anssi Saari (Finnish Defence Forces), Jarmo Joutsensaari (Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency), Oskari Auvinen (City of Kangasala), Jenni Välimäki (Finnish Taxi Owners’ Federation), Pasi Perhoniemi (The Association of Automotive Technical Societies in Finland), and Aarno Torikka (Vintage Motorcycle Club of Finland).

The Foundation’s CEO is Heidi Rytky.

The foundation’s strategy

You can read the Mobilia Foundation’s strategy for 2017 to 2021 here (in Finnish).