Nokian Tyres has sold its Vianor US business to Oregon-based Point S member Gills Point S Tire. The transaction covers ten Vianor service centres, with all current Vianor US service centre employees will be taken on by Gills Point S Tire & Auto Service.
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.
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.
The Board of Directors at Nokian Tyres has set new financial targets for 2019-2021. These targets include faster than market growth of more than five per cent CAGR, EBIT at 22 per cent and a shareholders’ dividend of more than 50 per cent of net earnings. Nokian says the
financial targets will guide the company in reaching the strategic ambitions it set in early 2018, which include increasing sales by 50 per cent in Central Europe and doubling them in North America within the next five years.
Although held back by exchange rate effects, net sales at Nokian Tyres were higher in the first three months of 2018 than a year earlier. Sales were up 3.1 per cent to 336.0 million euros; had the exchange rate effect been neutral, the tyre maker estimates that net sales would have increased 9.3 per cent year-on-year. Nevertheless, Hille Korhonen, president and chief executive officer of Nokian Tyres, referred to the result as “a good start of the year.”
Nokian Tyres’ investment in Sigmavision and the installation of its SnapSkan tool via tyre and car service chain Vianor is targeting “improved safety” for “millions of drivers”, the Finnish tyre manufacturer states. The free and fast technology measures the depth of tyre treads on the go and informs the driver of the results, serving motorists on their everyday routes, in locations such as car parks.
Nokian Tyres has become a shareholder in diagnostics equipment firm Sigmavision, launching its own digital tyre checking service, branded SnapSkan. SnapSkan will use TreadReader Drive Over ramps to provide a service that SigmaVision says will help to advance its “Beyond the Workshop” strategy. Dr Andrew Pryce, Sigmavision’s managing director, commented “The opportunity to progress our ‘Beyond the Workshop’ strategy with Nokian Tyres plc is a significant step and we are also delighted to welcome Nokian Tyres as a shareholder in our business.”
In Nokian Tyres’ opinion, advertising within the tyre industry is often boring, and they may have a point. So the company decided to do something about this by arranging and filming a surprise for customers at one of its Vianor retail centres in Gothenburg, Sweden. Unsuspecting motorists arriving for tyre changes were treated to a ‘personal gig’ from Swedish heavy metal band Hammerfall, and the YouTube video of the event has been viewed almost 700,000 times within three days.