Production at the Nokian Tyres’ Russian factory in Vsevolozhsk re-launched on Monday 6 April 2020. According to the company, the restrictions adopted by the the Russian presidential decree dated 2 April 2020 extending the “non-working regime’ until the end of April, do not apply to Nokian’s Vsevolozhsk factory. This is said to be because “as it is a continuously operating enterprise…it is thus allowed to continue normal operations”.
It’s almost two years since the reign of the Nokian Tractor King began, and this regally-titled agricultural tyre range has more than doubled in size since coming to market. It is growing again in 2020 with the addition of a dimension that Nokian Heavy Tyres says expands the tyre family’s potential even further.
Nokian Tyres has announced a dividend of 0.79 euros per share for the 2019 financial year, paypayble 17 April 2020. In addition, the company’s Board of Directors is authorised to approve an additional dividend payment of up to 0.79 euros per share “at a later stage when Nokian Tyres is able to make a more reliable estimate on the impacts of the COVID-19 to the company’s business.” This authorisation is valid until the company’s next Annual General Meeting.
Employee cooperation negotiations concerning Nokian Tyres’ workforce in Finland have concluded. The outcome of these negotiations is that all 1,630 employees of Nokian Tyres plc, Nokian Heavy Tyres Ltd, Vianor Holding Oy and Vianor Oy will be temporarily laid off. The length of time that each employee will be laid off depends upon their function within the company, however Nokian says nobody will be laid off for more than 90 days this year or, in the case of Vianor Oy, between now and February 2021.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the uncertainty it has created within the automotive and tyre market, the Board of Directors of Nokian Tyres plc has decided to withdraw the company’s financial guidance for 2020 that it published on 4 February 2020. Due to the prevailing uncertainties, the Board is not in a position to give a new guidance.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, Nokian Tyres will temporarily cease production at its factories in the USA and Russia. The plant in Dayton, USA will close on Friday for a minimum of two weeks. At Nokian Tyres’ Russian factory, the production shutdown will start on Monday, 30 March and will last for a week. Nokian Tyres will continue supplying customers through its regional warehouses.
In addition to the temporary layoffs planned for its factory in Finland and announced last week, Nokian Tyres is implementing changes at its other sites in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Production output in Russia will be flexibly adjusted “in line with global demand.” While the ramp-up of Nokian’s new plant in the USA continues, the company has postponed recruitment of additional employees. Furthermore, work on the new test centre in Spain has also temporarily stopped, delaying the project.
Sales of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta Truck E winter tyre and compatible Noktop Hakkapeliitta E retreading materials have exceeded a million units during their decade or so on the market. But all good things come to an end, and it is time to make way for an improved product. Nokian Tyres is introducing the Nokian Hakkapeliitta Truck E2 as a “true next-generation drive axle tyre for extreme winter conditions.”
Nokian Tyres is launching a successor to its Nokian WR A4. It calls this new addition to its cold-weather portfolio the Nokian Snowproof P and describes it is a “sporty and modern combination of high-performance handling and reliable winter grip.”
Nokian Tyres’ supply chain is unaffected, but the company has activated its “global Business Continuity Program” and is carefully reviewing advice in light of the Covid-19 epidemic. According to Nokian Head of Global Security Jukka Rikkinen, one specific change is that Nokian has “temporarily suspended international business travel.”
After several months of test production, Nokian Tyres’ new factory in the USA has begun making tyres destined for retail sale. Now that the tyre maker has reached this milestone on schedule, it will steadily increase volume throughout the year and will continue growing it until reaching an annual capacity of four million tyres by 2023.
Nokian Tyres has traditionally focused first and foremost on winter tyres, and these products currently account for around 70 per cent of the company’s passenger vehicle tyre business. But a reputation as a winter specialist means the brand hasn’t gained significant traction in markets where winter tyres find little favour, such as the UK. The tyre maker intends to rectify this.
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) shares that Nokian Tyres has signed up as its 13th member. The company, which opened its factory in Dayton, Tennessee in October 2019 and is currently preparing to start commercial production, joins an association that represents more than four-fifths of the national tyre manufacturing industry.