Construction at Nokian Tyres’ new US$360m production facility in Dayton, Tennessee remains on schedule and the company expects to begin producing tires there for commercial use in early 2020.
Trial production is now underway and the first test tire, a Nokian eNTyre 2.0, in size 205/55 R16, has been manufactured at the facility. Between now and the end of the year, Nokian Tyres will produce thousands more tires for testing and machine calibration purposes. Annual capacity at the factory will be four million tires in 2023, with further expansion potential.
Said Nokian Tyres’ senior VP Mark Earl, who oversees the company’s North American operations, “This milestone is significant for the production team, employees throughout North America and the team around the globe. We’re happy to share this news with our customers, who will benefit from the expanded product range and enhanced service the factory will enable us to offer.”
The factory will enable the company to make products tailored to the needs of North American consumers, expand its customer base, and strengthen its relationships with existing clients in the region.
Now that trial production is underway, Nokian Tyres will soon turn its attention to growing the team at the factory. Approximately 70 people are currently employed there. By the time full capacity of four million tires is reached, the team is expected to be around 400 people.
The factory’s production team recently returned home from an intensive six-week training experience at Nokian Tyres’ other factories in Russia and Finland. The training trip immersed employees in the tire maker’s production processes and introduced them to its life-driven culture.
“We aren’t just focused on building premium products; we also want to offer a premium experience for the team. Simply put, we want to be the employer of choice in southeast Tennessee,” Dayton Factory operations director, Peter Chia, commented.
The Dayton Factory will serve as a catalyst for Nokian Tyres’ growth strategy in North America. The company aims to double sales in the region by 2023.