On 8 May, chief executive Werner Heer replaced Fuhrlander as chairman of the company. Heer is central to business relations with Chinese companies through licensing agreements. This includes an agreement with Sinovel, signed in 2005, allowing it to build the Fuhrlander 1.5MW machine. At the Hanover industry trade fair in April, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and German chancellor Angela Merkel both visited the Fuhrlander stand.
At the time of Heer's appointment, founder Fuhrlander left the management board. Later that month, Jaroslaw Smialek joined the company as new head of sales and marketing from Siemens Wind Power, where he was head of marketing for Germany.
Fuhrlander's supervisory board has been expanded by two posts, raising the total to six. The new seats are taken by Maksym Yefymov, general director of PJSC Energomashspetsstal in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, and Ukrainian lawyer Gennadiy Molchanov. Yegymov will also become a majority shareholder in Fuhrlander.
In May, Fuhrlander announced an order for 20 2.5MW turbines from Yefymov, describing him as a long-standing joint venture partner.
Last year, Fuhrlander became one of the first turbine manufacturers to enter the Ukranian market. The company announced plans in November to produce turbines for the Ukrainian market at the Kramatorsk Heavy Machine Factory KZTS in the east of the country, expecting to start in 2012.
Nina Keirsbulck, senior marketing manager at Fuhrlander, confirmed in July that Fuhrlander Windtechnik - the new joint-venture company owned with partner Yefymov - will begin production at KZTS before the end of the year. The factory will have about 80% of the output capacity of Fuhrlander's assembly factory in Liebenscheid, Germany, capable of producing 20 2MW turbines a month.
At the time, Fuhrlander also said that, together with German project developer Windreich - which owns 10% of Fuhrlander - Yefymov is evaluating all aspects and opportunities for a deeper and broader co-operation with Fuhrlander.
As well as developing offshore wind farms, Windreich "also has projects for more than 200 wind turbines mainly in south-west Germany," Fuhrlander said in May.
In June this year, there was market speculation that a Ukraine company intended to acquire a stake in Fuhrlander. However, Keirsbulck gave a qualified denial: "As a stockholding company without registered shares, we can't comment on the ownership structure of our freely tradable shares, and as a matter of principle do not comment on rumours."