In spite of what it calls a “soft” market for car tyres in Europe last year, Nokian Tyres maintained its level of net sales throughout the period. Operating profit was lower year-on-year, and profit considerably increased. Operating profit is expected to take another tumble in 2020.
Nokian Tyres expects that its net sales in 2020 will be below last year’s and operating profit will be “significantly” beneath 2019 levels. Operating profit will primarily be affected by costs related to the company’s expansion in North America and other investment programmes.
Market rumours that Pirelli is considering a €9 billion (£7.7 billion) merger with Finland’s Nokian Tyres have been quashed by company spokespeople. Reports that such a deal was on the horizon emerged in mid-January and were then fuelled by re-reporting in the British and Italian press. However, these stories are “without foundation”, according to two Milan-based Pirelli spokespeople that Tyres & Accessories interacted with. Nokian has yet to comment.
Nokian Tyres is looking forward to growing it’s customer base in North America “thanks to the strides it made” in 2019, a year during which it set up a new facility in Dayton, Tennessee and built up its workforce in North America.
Bridgestone Corporation has significantly reduced its shareholding in Nokian Tyres. In a stock exchange release, the Finnish tyre maker reports that, as of 12 December 2019, Bridgestone’s shareholding has decreased from 9.96 per cent to 3.0 per cent. Bridgestone now holds 4,167,653 shares in Nokian Tyres.
Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), an initiative by the European Commission, has distinguished Fiege as an Open Innovation Challenger. Having first achieved this standard a year ago, Fiege is being distinguished for the second time in a row. The annual ranking also includes multinationals like Google, Nestlé and Bridgestone. Next to Fiege, a further three German enterprises were distinguished: Bosch, Daimler, and SAP.
Nokian has welcomed the new EU tyre label. The company says it is especially useful for winter tyre consumers, as the tyre label will now include information concerning grip on snow and ice. So far, markings related to properties required in demanding winter weather have been absent. The purpose of the tyre label is to guide consumers toward tyres that are more fuel-efficient, safer, and quieter. The new label will enter into force in May 2021.
Upon concluding negotiations with employee representatives today, Nokian Tyres has announced it will make 41 workers at its plant in Nokia, Finland redundant. The tyre maker adds that 11 of these redundancies will take the form of retirement or “other agreed arrangements”. It is also still evaluating the possibility of relocating employees within the group, a measure that may decrease the total number of job reductions.
Just over two years after groundbreaking, Nokian Tyres officially opened its new North American production facility. A ceremony was held at the Dayton, Tennessee plant on 2 October to mark the start of operations. The facility is currently engaged in trial production and is expected to be ready to make tyres for commercial use in early 2020.
The latest Nokian forestry tyre is on its way, and Nokian Tyres says it offers “true next generation features for six-wheel forestry machinery”. The Nokian Forest King TRS 2+ will be available from the end of 2019 in sizes 600/65-34, 710/55-34 and 710/70-34. Furthermore, Nokian Tyres has added new sizes to its Forest King F2 and Forest King TRS lines.
Brexit is perhaps just over a month away, and while many companies face an uncertain future, Nokian Tyres is in the happy position of being relatively unconcerned about the UK rescinding its European Union membership. That’s just as well, as the Finnish tyre maker has other things to worry about.
Two new sizes have been added to the Nokian Mine King range, extending the the E-4 underground mining tyre’s suitability to an even wider range of vehicles. The launch of the 14.00-24 size in August has been followed by the introduction of a size 12.00-20 tyre this month. The Nokian Mine King E-4 was initially launched in 14.00-20,
A concept tyre displayed at Nokian Tyres’ stand at Agritechnica 2017 will return to this year’s show – in an evolved form – as a new range aimed at tractor and machine contractors who seek a product that offers a combination of “on-road endurance, traction and grip on a soft terrain and a high load-bearing capacity.”
Drivers of SUVs and crossovers will soon be able to fit their vehicles with tyres based upon the 2018-launched Nokian Powerproof and Wetproof ranges. Nokian Tyres says it developed the Powerproof SUV and Wetproof SUV to meet a “growing demand for premium SUV tyres”. Both products will be available from spring 2020.
Nokian Tyres is responding to what it calls the “weak development of the European car and tyre market” with plans to reduce employee numbers at its Nokia production facility in Finland. It appears Nokian Tyres is looking to lay off approximately 50 workers and additionally dismiss an unspecified number on a temporary basis.