Nokian Anticipates Opening of New Tire Testing Facility
Nokian Tyres plc is completing work on its third tire testing facility, a $73 million center south of Madrid, Spain, that features 10 tracks and will be used to test products for the North American market and beyond.
The entire facility stretches across about 740 acres, and the company says the "crown jewel" isa 4.5 mile high-speed oval track for testing speeds up to 190 mph. The site also has tracks to test wet and dry handling, braking and hydroplaning, plus noise and wet grip grading. The company is in the ramp-up phase of testing now, and expects to be in full tire testing mode by the third quarter of 2021.
Its location — less than 40 miles from Madrid — will allow for year-round testing for all-season tires and all-weather tires, as well as winter products. It joins Nokian's other tire testing facilities: the Ivalo Test Center north of Finland's Arctic Circle, and another near the company's global headquarters in Nokia, Finland.
Nokian expects to host customers at the site for product launches and training once it's safe to do so, and the testing center includes a visitor center to accommodate those events.
CEO and President Jukka Moisio says the site's sustainable and energy-friendly design make it different from other testing facilities.
"The facilities are designed for welcoming customers and partners. It's a modern experience, that way the company has a modern appearance, and that way we can sell more tires, because ultimately this design center is meant to help us sell more tires."
There are more than 1,000 solar panels to provide power to the site, and the buildings feature white roofs to reflect the sun's rays and ultimately reduce energy consumption. The wet track features a water recycling system that recovers more than 80% of the water used on the tracks.