As the warm September sunshine drenched the rolling hills of southeast Tennessee, executives from Nokian Tyres’ global organization joined Tennessee political leaders on Sept. 20 to break ground on the $360 million greenfield tire production facility in Dayton, Tenn.
“It’s a big investment for us,” said Hille Korhonen, CEO of Nokian Tyres in an exclusive interview with Tire Review. “It’s a big commitment to serve our North American customers. As I said, we plan to double our sales [in the next five years]. It means for our customers that they will sell products made in America and [the new facility] will give us more flexibility to get them our products faster.”
During the ceremony, Korhonen reaffirmed the company’s ambition to doubling sales in the next five years within North America. She also highlighted Nokian Tyres’ goal to lead the tire industry in sustainable manufacturing as well as making sure the company is the employer of choice within the greater communities it serves.
“We have worked hard to create the best possible environment for job creation, which helped attract Nokian Tyres to Tennessee,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “It’s exciting to officially break ground today on the company’s new manufacturing facility in Dayton that will create hundreds of jobs for Rhea County. We appreciate Nokian Tyres for investing in our state.”
With production launching in 2020, the new plant will service customers across the United States and Canada, concentrating on the production of North American-specific car and light truck all-season tires. The Tennessee location will increase production and warehouse capacity, allowing Nokian Tyres to meet the increasing demand throughout North America.
The new plant will be capable of producing four million tires annually with the room for expansion to meet future demand. The site will also house a distribution facility with a storage capacity of 600,000 tires.
The announcement marks another step forward for Finland-based Nokian Tyres in North America, as the manufacturer continues to lay the foundation for growth through investments in its people, products, customers, marketing, and logistics.
When asked what she hopes tire dealers across North America understand regarding the Nokian brand, Korhonen replied, “We are the premium tire manufacturer from Scandinavia and we have huge experience in winter tires; however, we are using that experience to create tires for North America. Our goals for the coming year is that we want to make our customers as happy and satisfied as they are today and we want them to have more opportunities to make more money with Nokian Tires.”
Korhonen was recently appointed CEO and president of Nokian Tyres, serving in this role since June 1. http://www.tirereview.com/korhonen-hired-nokian-ceo/
The celebration concluded with a formal dinner event for dealers, distributors and Nokian Tyre leadership at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga.