Under a new ten-year agreement, Nordic energy company Gasum will supply renewable wind energy for the electricity Nokian Tyres uses in its factory in Finland as well as its Vianor operations within the country. Supply of power produced at a new wind farm in North Ostrobotnia will start in 2023.
As the popularity of quiet electric cars increases, so has the focus on tyre noise. European tyre labelling has raised consumer awareness of pass-by noise, but it would be a mistake to assume that pass-by noise is the only noise category. Recently, Nokian Tyres has sought to highlight how it considers noise aspects in tyre research and development as well as testing.
After a Covid-enforced delay, Auto Express has published its 2021 Summer Tyre Test, with Hankook leading a list of nine top tyre brands. Each of the nine tyres displayed strengths in at least one of the test segments. The UK magazine used Continental’s Contidrom proving ground near Hanover in Germany to conduct its objective performance tests, enlisting the help of a local independent tyre tester to get around travel restrictions in the country before verifying the results. The problems of testing tyres in Europe with rules around travel in flux also affected the way Auto Express was able to get tyres to the proving ground; rather than acquire tyres on the open market, it asked manufacturers to send sets, verifying the test-topping tyres against regular production models after the fact. The magazine used the size 225/45 R17, as it had previously in 2018 – a very popular UK size for compact to medium-sized family cars, and in this case one fitted to the tyre test mainstay Volkswagen Golf.
Nokian Tyres’ board of directors has approved its revised mid-term strategy and updated financial and non-financial targets. The Finnish tyre manufacturer is targeting growth faster than the market to reach net sales of 2 billion euros, plus an increasing market share in its key markets. “Our large investment phase is completed, and we are well positioned for organic growth and strong performance,” said , Jukka Moisio, Nokian president and CEO.
The difference a year can make. Almost 12 months to the day after reporting an operating loss of 13.7 million euros for the first half of 2020, Nokian Tyres has announced achieving an operating profit of 126.1 million in the six months to 30 June 2021 with an earnings per share of 0.72 euros. It achieved this result on the back of net sales that were up 37.7 per cent year-on-year to 758.0 million euros. Nokian Tyres notes that when looking at comparable currencies, net sales increased by 41.5 per cent.
Nokian Tyres has added a fourth production shift at its North American factory in Dayton, Tennessee, and is now producing tyres around the clock at its 2019-opened facility. The switch to 24/7 production coincides with the Dayton plant’s ISO 14001 certification.
Contractors who operate tractors in regions where winters are harsh rely on tyres that provide grip in varying conditions, such as the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI. Nokian Heavy Tyres has expanded this range with the addition of two 65-series sizes, 540/65R28 and 650/65R38. A total of 29 dimensions are now available.
Railways are typically best suited to vehicles with metal wheels, and a backhoe is thus not on home turf in such an environment. It requires a tyre able to cope with driving over thin metal rails, something which can cause uneven wear and shorten tyre life. Nokian Tyres says it has been perfecting a specific tyre for railway use for several years and is now introducing the Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick. With this new tyre, the manufacturer says it “solves many problems that were previously typical when using a backhoe loader on railroads.”
Nokian Tyres has equipped its logistics centre in Nokia, Finland with solar power capabilities. The plant consists of 3,160 solar panels with a combined output of more than 1,100 kilowatts (kW). All electricity generated by the solar panels is used by the logistics centre, including to provide lighting and ventilation.
Nokian Tyres is adding third and fourth production shifts at its US factory to increase output capacity to 24/7 production at the facility, in response to rising demand in North America. The company launched its third production shift the week of May 17 and will add the fourth shift in mid-July. Adding shifts is on pace with Nokian Tyres’ plans to produce as many as one million tyres at the Dayton factory in 2021.
Tyre testing has commenced at the new Nokian Tyres Test Center in Santa Cruz de la Zarza, Spain. The tyre maker is utilising all ten tracks at the site, including the ‘crown jewel’, a seven-kilometre oval track circling the facility.
Autonomous vehicles have arrived on our roads and the growth of self-driving cars and smart tyres will also improve road safety, believes Nokian Tyres. Says Mika Penttilä, Head of Digital Technology for Nokian Tyres: “In the future, tyres designed for autonomous vehicles will require smart characteristics in addition to traditional ones such as wet grip. The sensor technology in tyres will provide us with even more information on driving conditions and their changes.”
More than half of European drivers with all-season tyres choose them for their convenience as all-season tyres do not need to be changed twice a year. Another reason, according to the survey conducted by Nokian Tyres in the past year, is the safety aspect. 50 per cent believe that all-season tyres are safe enough to use throughout the whole year in central Europe and they meet all the regulatory requirements for winter tyres. The survey was conducted in four countries: Germany, France, Italy and Poland. The new Nokian Seasonproof all-season tyre is designed for drivers who need reliability and first-class safety for snowy and slushy winter days but who also want top-notch performance and effortless driving feel in the summer.
Trade association the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland has awarded Nokian Heavy Tyres Ltd during its annual Safety Awards ceremony, which took place yesterday. It honoured Nokian in the large companies category, acknowledging the tyre maker’s senior management for their strong commitment to improving safety.