Ivalo is the destination of choice for many tyre makers when it comes to testing winter and cold weather products, and Hankook Tire has announced plans to establish its own European winter tyre testing facility near the Finnish village. The company recently signed a contract to build this together with Test World Oy.
The formal agreement to acquire Test World was preceded by the establishment of a “strategic collaboration” between Millbrook and the Finnish facility in June 2015. The collaboration was announced at Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2015, in Stuttgart which ran from 16 – 18 June. There the growing partnership between the two companies could be seen in their adjoining exhibition stands designed to demonstrate the range of facilities and services the two businesses can offer.
Millbrook, the well-known vehicle test, validation and engineering service provider, signed a contract to acquire specialist winter test centre Test World on 14 September. No price-tag has been publically released.
When it comes to testing a vehicle or tyre’s winter aptitude, few places in the world better are suited to the job than the Finnish village of Ivalo, some 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The average daily temperature struggles to rise above -10⁰C in the dark months of January and February, and for half the year the white stuff beloved by skiers is abundantly present. No surprise then that Test World, the internationally-renown vehicle and tyre tester and type approval centre, chose to set up shop just outside Ivalo. But what does Test World do in summer, when its ice and snow circle turns into a massive birdbath? It moves winter indoors.
No less than 15 tyres took part in the 2015 summer tyre test carried out by Finnish trade publication Tekniikan Maailma (World of Technology). Size 205/55 R 16 tyres from premium, mid-range and budget manufacturers were fitted to a VW Golf and evaluated by specialists from Test World in Ivalo, Finland and ranked according to performance in a series of wet and dry tests. Continental’s ContiPremiumContact 5 topped the table with a score of 9.5 out of 10 and a rating of five out five stars, however an entry from another premium manufacturer didn’t fare so well.
Sami Toljamo has been appointed managing director of well-known Finnish test centre Test World effective 3 November 2014. According to the company, Toljamo has strong background in international business and in managing test facilities.
Taiwanese manufacturer Kenda has sold products into European markets for some time, but Reifen 2014 is seen as an opportunity to enhance and solidify its position. This rejuvenation of Kenda’s European business is inspired by the establishment of a new European headquarters in Oldenburg, Germany, and two key appointments.
With memories of Nokian’sill-fated alternative winter tyre label fresh in mind, I was interested to learn that Finnish tyre and vehicle test centre Testworld is making its own ice braking test result publically and freely available.
Artic tyre and vehicle test centre Testworld has published a winter and studded tyre test database called safewintertyre.eu. The centre based in Ivalo, Finland has published the results of 128 tyres categories as studded, un-studded Nordic and un-studded mid-Europe. And while the first two categories are fairly specialised, the last contains one performance metric for 49 mainstream winter tyres. So far the tests are limited to what the firm calls “ice braking” metrics, which set the tyres against an as-yet unnamed standard reference tyre.
Test World Oy, the well-known winter tyre and vehicle test operation in Finland has announced plans to build a year-round winter test centre which to fulfil the needs of vehicle and tyre manufacturers. According to the company, the first phase of construction will start in May 2012 and this part of the site will be in operation before the end of the year. The three-phase project to create the 30,000 square metre test centre will be completed by the end of 2015.