It's been nearly a year since Nokian Tyres plc broke ground in Dayton, Tenn. The company says its first U.S. production facility remains on schedule for a 2020 launch. There are trailers on the site in Rhea County serving as temporary offices for the handful of Nokian employees already at work. And the company says it still needs to hire to fill some of the critical roles for the plant's management team. (That info can be found here.)
Construction of the production building, the largest and most complex area on the site, is underway. Even though the foundation isn't quite visible above ground, more than 6,000 cubic yards of concrete for the foundation have been poured. Power lines are visible, and the first walls will be erected before summer ends, the company says.
Nokian is building a $360 million plant on the site. It will be the company's third tire production facility in the world, and the first designed specifically to serve the North American market. Nokian also is building a warehouse with the capacity to hold 600,000 tires on the same.
In addition to the big plant construction, the company in April announced it was moving its North American headquarters from Vermont to Tennessee. A temporary office opened in May — the same day Mark Earl, former president of Hennessy Industries Inc., started work as vice president of Nokian's Americas business area.