Bahri Kurter, who was Nokian Tyres’ executive vice-president Central Europe until leaving to “pursue his career” outside the company last year, is the new chief executive officer at toy manufacturer Playmobil. He commenced in this role in March 2023.
While tyre retail sales volumes in Russia reportedly declined 16% year-on-year in Q1 2023, to 3.2 million units, sales value dropped 42%. The growing popularity of lower-priced tyres partially explains this larger decrease in turnover, and imports from China and Korea rose significantly. An expert from one association nonetheless still recommends European tyres, even though they’re hard to find and expensive.
In a stock exchange release published this morning, Nokian Tyres plc confirms it has completed the sale of its operations in Russia to vertically integrated oil and gas company PJSC Tatneft after finishing local registration formalities. The Finnish company has “now ended all its operations in Russia,” but this doesn’t mean that the Nokian name will immediately disappear from this market.
Visit NokianTyres.ru today and you will be greeted with the following message: “All Nokian Tyres operations in Russia have ended. For guarantee services and other product information please visit www.vsevtyres.ru.” Browse over to vsevtyres.ru and you will find a page that looks identical to the former Nokian Tyres site. This development follows the sale of Nokian Tyres’s Russian operations to Tatneft and the rebranding of Nokian Tyres’s Vianor tyre retail business as Ivanor in Russia. So who is selling Nokian brand tyres in Russia and Russia-speaking markets? Is it Nokian Tyres or Tatneft?
Nokian Tyres has begun construction work on a finished goods warehouse at the Dayton, Tennessee production site where it is currently doubling production capacity for all-season and all-weather tyres and adding light truck tyres to the product mix. The warehouse will hold as many as 600,000 tyres and should be ready for use by mid-2024.
With the careful rearrangement of a couple of letters, the Vianor tyre retail network gains a new identity in Russia. Nokian Tyres reports that Russia’s largest network of tyre centres will henceforth operate under the name Ivanor. The new name accompanies a change of ownership, with Tatneft acquiring a 100% stake in Nokian’s Russian business. Rights to the Vianor and N-Tyre trademarks remain with Nokian Tyres.
Nokian Tyres reports that it has received the sale price of 285 million euros from PJSC Tatneft for the sale of its operations in Russia. The total permissible transaction price defined by the Russian Governmental Commission was 23,050 million rubles. Now there are just “registration formalities” before the transaction completes and Nokian Tyres’ operations in Russia therefore end.
PJSC Tatneft reports that the Russian Governmental Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investments has approved Tatneft’s purchase of Nokian Tyres plc’s operations in Russia, a deal that was announced on 28 October 2022. That much was expected, some would say overdue. However, Nokian Tyres reports that Tatneft will only be paying around 286 million euros for company’s high-tech St. Petersburg factory and other local assets.
Toward the end of December 2022, we reported that Tatneft had applied for FAS approval to buy the Nokian Tyres St. Petersburg factory. That deal, which is yet to be completed, centred on “the acquisition of 100 per cent of “Nokian Tyres LLC, Hakka Invest LLC and Nokian Shina LLC from Nokian Tyres” for just over 400 million euros. Around the same time, the Russian national patenting body, Rospatent, reported that Nokian Tyres LLC, which operates Nokian’s Russian tyre for the Finnish tyremaker, had filed applications for the registration of new trademarks.
Nokian Tyres is renewing its winter tyre portfolio for Europe with the introduction of a new flagship range and updates for an existing product, extending the Nokian Snowproof family to four tyre models. The new flagship is Snowproof 2, and its arrival is accompanied by the European debut of SilentDrive technology.
Full-year 2022 financial results show that – in terms of share price performance, at least – Japanese tyre manufacturers are leading the way on the global stage. Much has happened in the last five years, but five-year share price data is clear that the costs of chip shortages, shipping, dearer raw materials, pandemic and war have hit European and Western tyre brands harder than their Japanese counterparts. We compared the share performance of five of the largest European and Western tyre brands (namely: Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Pirelli and Nokian) during the last five years with the leading Japanese-based tyre manufacturers (Bridgestone, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Yokohama and Toyo Tires) in order to gain an insight into their relative performance.
Anyone listening to the Nokian Tyres conference call on Tuesday in the hope of gaining insights into negotiations with Tatneft were sorely disappointed. More than 3 months after Nokian announced the sale of its Russian operations for around 400 million euros, fundamental aspects of the deal are still completely opaque. Jukka Moisio, president and CEO of Nokian Tyres, brought no clarity to the subject.
Nokian Tyres reports that its fourth-quarter 2022 net sales totalled 411.3 million euros, down 19.8 per cent from 512.6 million euros in October–December 2021. Operating profit was 13.5 million euros (Q4 2022: 88.0 million). Despite that, the company’s full-year 2022 net sales grew 3.6 per cent to 1,776.1 million euros (2021: 1,714.1 million euros). However, that wasn’t enough to prevent a full-year 2022 loss of 116.2 million euros (2021: 268.2 million euros profit). Executives put the fourth-quarter declines down to “lower passenger car tyre supply volumes…”, something that is a veiled reference to the fact that the company is wrestling with a serious passenger car tyre production gap.