Nokian Tyres has officially confirmed the rumours that it is negotiating a factory project in Kazakhstan. The company reports that negotiations are ongoing, and as of August 24 no agreements have been made. Nokian aims to finalise the negotiation project before the end of the year.
According to previous information supplied to Tyres & Accessories, Nokian tyres may be manufactured at the US$200 million factory being built in the national capital by Kazakhstan’s Ordabasy Corporation. This new plant will have an annual capacity of 4 million tyres when in full production.
With news of Chinese product recalls and revised tax rules, some people are looking elsewhere to source their tyres. But if a tyre manufacturing colleague said they were about to expand capacity by entering into an off-take agreement in Kazakhstan, they would probably be met with either a blank “where-exactly-is-that face?” or a stream of Borat-related quips. Joking aside, Nokian Tyres, a company that has made a real success of its niche market approach, has reportedly taken the plunge and broken ground on $200 million-worth of production capacity in Astana, the former Soviet country’s capital city.
Although Nokian staff have not immediately confirmed their involvement in the deal, it would see Nokian gain another low-cost production base to supplement its very successful St Petersburg, Russia operation and – just as importantly – a strong and growing market in which to sell its high quality winter tyres. The winter conditions in Ukraine and Kazakhstan are harsh, making studded tyres popular.
The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has visited InterKomShina JSC in Shymkent, South Kazakhstan. This company is engaged in the production of tyres for light vehicles and road freighters, agricultural machines and special equipment. InterKomShina claims to be the only tyre manufacturer in central asia.