The History of Prodiags
From Solving One Teacher’s Needs To International Online Training Pioneer
Where It Began
In 1991, the brothers Matti & Heikki Vatanen founded Prodiags in Kajaani, Finland. The company was then named HMV-Systems Oy.
The idea behind the company came from Matti working as a vocational teacher, and needing new teaching material for the Bosch Mono-Jetronic injection system, found for example in the mk2 VW Golf. The school he worked at did not have funding for buying a car equipped with the system, so Matti started creating animations for teaching how it worked. It did not stop with only the Mono-Jetronic, and when other teachers wanted to use Matti’s material, he and Heikki came up with the idea of selling it to teachers around the country.
In 1992, the very first training material was ready. Since this is before the internet became a part of our everyday life, we are talking about floppy discs and later on CDs.
In 1994, the brothers attended the Automechanika exhibition in Frankfurt, and they got a very positive response from the attendees – but the international automotive industry was not yet ready for the implementation of eLearning on a larger scale, i.a. due to insufficient funding. The same year HMV-Systems also developed training material on Citroën’s hydraulic suspension for the importer in Finland. Later this material was taken into use in schools in France, and HMV-Systems was the first foreign content creator which’ material was approved for national educational use in France.
HMV-Systems also started offering training services and developing their own PC-based measuring equipment, for example oscilloscopes. Something we are proud of is our 7-channel oscilloscope, which revolutionised troubleshooting training.
Becoming a Pioneer
In 2000, the company started looking for ways to move their material online. Since they couldn’t find any solutions that met the brothers’ visions, they decided to develop their own online eLearning-platform and become pioneers in automotive online training.
In 2001, the first version of our online training environment was up and running on the internet.
In 2004, a project was launched together with the Finnish importer for Audi and Volkswagen, where online training became part of their aftermarket staff training.
In 2007, the operations spread south due to high demand in the Baltics, and the subsidiary HMV-Systems Baltic Oü was founded in Estonia together with automotive training innovator Virgo Tiitsu. Both HMV-Systems Oy and HMV-Systems Baltic Oü are still used as auxiliary company names in Finland and the Baltics, and in Finland HMV-Systems offers a HotLine service, which is a support line where workshops can seek help and advice for tricky problems.
In 2012, our first training in electrical safety was released to the market, and it became very popular. Since then we have provided electrical safety training for the automotive industry, and we also work together with The Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs (AKL) regarding the electrical safety standard SFS 6002 (which is based on EN 50110-1).
Where We Are Today
In 2016, HMV-Systems changed its name to Prodiags Ltd (Prodiags Oy). The name change was part of entering the international self-learner market with online training in such a niche industry. This is also the year when we opened our self-learner webshop.
In 2020, when the global pandemic hit the world, Prodiags became a very important tool for many schools, since a big part of the world was forced to distance learning due to Corona. Even though Prodiags in many schools was used as a part of the education before the pandemic, it now became the main tool for many teachers.
Prodiags still offers high-quality training material for the automotive industry, which is used by individual technicians, in schools and by workshops around the globe. We have also expanded our sales partner network, and nowadays we have partners in many different countries.
We still strive to lead the development of automotive training, and strongly believe in online training becoming a central part of training for industry professionals. In the future we are looking forward to adding more highlights to this list.