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Nokian Tyres plc is preparing for a "significant sales increase" this winter and is ramping up production in response.

The Finnish company plans to boost production capacity by more than six million tires in 2004.

Investments will be made to "eliminate production bottlenecks in order to boost productivity and special attention will be paid to high-season logistics in order to improve distribution," say Nokian officials.

They also have announced that construction will begin on Nokian's new factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, this spring.

Nokian's goal is to start manufacturing tires at the facility next year.

"Total investments required for the factory in the first stage in the years 2004 and 2005 will be 52 million euros," say Nokian officials.

Nokian has established a logistics center near Moscow to strengthen its sales and distribution efforts in Russia.

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