Nokian Tyres says it is adding third and fourth production shifts at its US factory in Dayton, Ohio, meaning production at the facility will run 24/7. The move is reported to be in response to rising demand.
The company launched its third production shift in the week of May 17 and will add the fourth shift in mid-July. The additional shifts are part of the company’s plans to produce up to one million tires at the factory in 2021.
The expansion caps a hiring campaign that saw Nokian nearly double the factory’s workforce in the first half of 2021; the company now employs approximately 300 staff in Dayton. Once the facility reaches full capacity in the coming years, it will make up to four million tires annually and employ as many as 400 workers.
“The demand for our premium tires is rising in North America, and we are proud to offer products that are tailored to fit the needs of drivers in the region. We are advancing with our growth plans and offer a versatile range of tires for demanding conditions. Last year we launched a record number of new products globally, and we will reach a new record in 2021,” said Nokian Tyres’ president and CEO, Jukka Moisio.
The company started production at the Dayton facility in January 2020 to serve increasing demand for its products in the North American market. The factory focuses on all-season and all-weather tires and earlier this year was the first in the tire industry to earn LEED v4 Silver certification.
Nokian says it aims to leverage the factory to reduce delivery lead times to North American customers and build tires tailored to the needs of drivers in the region, such as its One model, an all-season passenger tire launched in North America in January.
“The expansion to third and fourth shifts will allow us to greatly increase our production capacity while gaining efficiencies from continuous operation,” added Adrian Kaczmarczyk, SVP, supply operations.
The Dayton factory expansion follows a quarter in which Nokian Tyres set a record for sales volume, increasing year-on-year net sales by 28.5% globally compared with 2020 and 27.5% in North America, with comparable currencies.
In addition to increasing output in Dayton, Nokian is operating its factory in Russia at full capacity and announced in March that it will increase production capacity by 30% at its Finland facility.