Nokian Tyres manufactures tires for passenger cars and bigger vehicles. The company was the first manufacturer in the world to produce winter tires. They are still known especially for their products suitable for cold and snowy conditions. Building the company's new factory in Dayton, Tennessee, starts next year.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam joined a groundbreaking ceremony on September 20, 2017, to celebrate Rhea County’s largest foreign direct investment to date. It was a Nokian Tyres tire factory construction site that had its first shovels tossed in the boiling Dayton. The plant will be built during the following years to accompany the Nokian Tyres subsidiary in LaVergne. The investment is worth 360 million U.S. dollars. Manufacturing of passenger car, SUV and light truck tires is planned to begin in 2020. The factory will employ over 400 people and produce 4 million tires annually, with an expansion potential in the future.
Nokian Tyres shares the same roots with technology giant Nokia. They both were part of the same corporation until 1988, when the conglomerate was split, and Nokian Tyres Ltd was established. Nokian Tyres' Finnish name, Nokian Renkaat, translates literally to "Tires of Nokia". Tire production began in the town of Nokia already in 1932. Expertise and machinery were brought from the United States. Today, in addition to the Nokia plant, there are two Nokian Tyres factories in Vsevolozhsk, Russia. Altogether, their annual production is over 15 million tires.
Inspired by Finland's cold winters, Nokian Tyres focuses on serving the needs of customers in northern conditions. The first winter tires in the world were manufactured in Nokia in 1934. Today, more than 80 percent of Nokian Tyres' passenger car and van tire sales are winter tires. The winter tires have different tread patterns and softer rubber components than all-season tires, which results in better starting, stopping and steering performance.
Nokian Tyres has more winter tire patents than any other manufacturer in the world. Most products are tested at the company's proving grounds in Ivalo, Arctic Lapland. The "White Hell" is the only permanent winter tire testing facility in the world.
Nokian Tyres was the first tire manufacturer to eliminate the use of high-aromatic oils in its production process. It does not use toxic or carcinogenic chemicals, either. The production development focuses on more environment-friendly production and tire safety, as well as reduction of fuel consumption, noise and wearing of tires and roads.
As of 2008, Nokian Tyres is the most profitable tire manufacturer in the world. The company concentrates on consumer markets instead of selling directly to automobile manufacturers. The North American market accounts for over 10 percent of Nokian Tyres' net sales. The company has 4,400 employees worldwide.