Nokian Tyres
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Nokian will double its U.S. production

Aug. 8, 2023
Nokian's four-year-old plant in Dayton, Tenn., will produce as many as four million tires a year by 2024. The factory built two million units last year.

Nokian Tyres will double the annual production capacity at its Dayton, Tenn., plant by 2024 as part of its ongoing investment in the four-year-old facility.

The company is now manufacturing light truck tires at the plant, which runs 24/7, and recently added 125 people to the factory’s workforce, bringing its total head count to 475. (The majority of the hires serve as production operators. Others handle maintenance, quality, logistics and general administrative functions.)

Read more: What’s the next big thing in truck tires?

“In Dayton, we exclusively make all-season and all-weather tires and now have the capability to make light truck tires here,” Wes Boling, Nokian’s senior communications manager, told attendees during an event at the plant that took place last week. “We’re ramping up that volume.”

Products made at the factory include the all-season Nokian One, the all-weather Nokian WR G4 and the all-terrain Nokian Outpost line. (Nokian’s winter tires are made in Finland.)

“The Dayton factory enables us to tailor our product mix for the North American market,” said David Korda, the plant’s operations director, who is overseeing Nokian’s investment of employees and equipment at the facility.

“We have the ability to ask, ‘What does the North American customer need?’ and we’re able to now (meet those needs) because of our expanded volume.”

By 2027, the Dayton plant will make up 25% of Nokian’s annual global production, according to Nokian officials. The company’s plant in Finland will generate 35% and its recently announced plant in Romania, which is slated to begin production in 2025, will manufacture the rest of what’s projected to be a total global, annual output of around 15 million units.

This will “almost approximate the former level of production at our Russia facility,” said Boling.

Nokian no longer operates in Russia, where it had a plant that produced around 16 million tires a year. (Roughly half of that production was sold within Russia.)

Looking ahead, “here in Dayton, we have the capability to go up to eight million (units per year) and then up to 12 million, if we were to build onto” the company’s existing footprint, said Korda.

In addition to investing in production, Nokian is building a new, 600,000-square-foot distribution center at the Dayton plant, which will be up and running next summer.

The warehouse will join Nokian’s network of nine distribution centers throughout the United States and Canada and will serve the company’s growing number of dealers in the Sun Belt.

“We’re right on the cusp of taking that next step” in North America, according to Korda. “And we’re making sure that we’re doing this in an organized, controlled way. The numbers will come and by the end of next year, we’ll be where we need to be.

“We’re taking a lot of time and energy to make sure we give dealers products that are of the highest standards.”

This article was originally published on ModernTireDealer.com.

About the Author

Mike Manges

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.

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