The 300 hectare site in of Santa Cruz de la Zarza will host both summer and winter tyre testing
The Spanish municipality of Santa Cruz de la Zarza, some 50 miles southeast of Madrid, has been selected as the location of Nokian Tyres’ new technology centre for the testing of summer and winter tyres. The Finnish tyre maker will invest approximately €16 million to build the facility on a site of some 300 hectares. Construction work will begin early in 2017, and while the facility will not be finished until 2019 the first project stage is expected to be completed next year.
The site will house a number of test tracks, including include a five kilometre banked oval track that circles the area and will enable the testing of summer and winter tyres at speeds of up to 300 km/h / 186 mph. Antti-Jussi Tähtinen, the company’s vice-president of marketing and communications, comments that Nokian Tyres is currently experiencing demand for high speed rating tyres in Central Europe and North America, the two regions where it aims for strong growth. Other test tracks will be constructed in the centre of the oval track. These will be used to study and test the behaviour of tyres in relation to aquaplaning, wet braking and handling. The test track is also suitable for most tyre approval tests, including noise testing.
“We wanted to find a place in Southern Europe with sunshine, warmth and hot temperatures,” comments Tähtinen. “Naturally, the place would also need to have good air and road connections so that the tyres, cars, test personnel and customers can easily reach it. We also intend to use the technology centre for organising product launch events.”
The site in Santa Cruz de la Zarza will complement Nokian Tyres’ Ivalo Testing Center in Finnish Lapland, a 700 hectare facility containing more than 20 test tracks. The company also operates a test track in its home town of Nokia, Finland.
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