Nokian Tyres plc is building a technology and testing center in Spain, and the tiremaker says the center will allow for year-round product development and testing of both summer and winter tires.Construction is to begin in early 2017.
The first stage of construction is expected to be complete in 2017, with full completion in late 2019. The center, in Santa Cruz de la Zarza, south of Madrid, will cover 300 hectares (about 1.2 square miles). In the future Nokian says it will be used especially for testing summer tires, as well as testing the characteristics of winter tires.
The center "further strengthens the summer tire expertise of the company that is known for its pioneering winter tyre technology," Nokian says.
The value of the investment is approximately 16 million euros.
The technology center will include a 5-kilometer oval track with banked curves, allowing for tire tests up to 300 km/h (186 mph). Other test tracks will also be constructed in the center of the oval track. They can be used to study and test the behavior of tires in both wet and dry conditions, as well as noise testing.
"We wanted to find a place in Southern Europe with sunshine, warmth and hot temperatures," says Antti-Jussi Tähtinen, vice president of marketing and communications for Nokian. "Naturally, the place would also need to have good air and road connections so that the tires, cars, test personnel, and customers can easily reach it. We also intend to use the technology center for organizing product launch events."
The center is part of Nokian's growth strategy. The company is working to grow in both Central Europe and North America. Nokian recently unveiled its newest product for North America, a new ultra-high performance tire, the zLine.
For more information, visit www.nokiantyres.com.