INTRODUCTION OF ROAD SIDE ASSISTANCE
The road assistance industry was established in parallel with the arrival of the first cars in Norway. As car repair shops were established, many offered a service car assisting in car break downs.
In the mid 30’s, efforts were made to establish an organized assistance network of car repair shops in Oslo. Due to the low number of cars in 1935 (60.000 – 70.000), the plans were stopped.
HISTORY OF VIKING REDNINGSTJENESTE
Shortly after World War II, Arne Andresen established the road assistance company, Falken Redningskorps AS, after observing firsthand the business in Denmark. Through car repair shops and by introducing service cars in the Eastern and Southern Norway, the Company established a large network of road assistance. The brand “Falken” was soon a well recognized brand.
The car work shop organisation in Norway, AVL (Automobilverkstedenes Landsforbund), viewed the monopoly of Falken as having a negative effect on the industry.
As a result, Viking Redningstjeneste AS was established on June 7th, 1956. The competition between Viking and Falken was intense. The revenue was created through a subscription fee from the car owner and there was no limit on the number of assistances in the 12 month membership cycle and no per-event payments. The membership fee per car was NOK 60,-. The sale of memberships was slow.
The shareholder meeting in 1967 was a turning point for Viking. The business ran at a substantial deficit. Nevertheless, the Company experienced strong confidence from the industry and AVL provided Viking with financing to continue operations. The network of road assistance providers was re-organized and sales agents were hired.
Dedicated to providing customers with the highest standard of service, the Company recorded its first profitable year in 1967. The Company also introduced its helmet logo which is still in use.
The Company continued the success. In 1990, the Company moved from Bogstadveien in Oslo to the Furuset area in the outskirts of the city. In 1993, Viking moved to its current location (Konowsgate 1-3).
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