ERJ staff report (DS)
Ivalo, Finland- - Test World Oy is building a year-round, indoor winter test centre for tyres and vehicles on the Mellatracks site near Ivalo in northern Finland. The first phase of construction will start in May 2012 and this initial unit will be in operation before the end of 2012. The three-phase project, which will create a 30,000 m2 test centre serving vehicle manufacturers and sub-contractors, will be completed by the end of 2015.
â€œThe year-round winter test center will remove one of the biggest bottlenecks in the development of vehicles: winter test dependence on the season and prevailing weather. We will be able to provide all the test conditions the automotive industry requires year-round,â€ said Test World's President and CEO Harri Eskelinen.
TestWorld currently runs an outdoor test facility just outside Ivalo, but it is only available when temperatures drop in the Autumn until they rise again in Spring. In the summer months the facility is boggy ground unsuitable for any kind of vehicle, let alone testing. Once the ground and shallow surface water freeze, the tracks can be prepared for testing in the winter months.
The alternative for companies who wish to test in the Northern hemisphere Summer is to use the very limited facilities in the southern hemisphere, such as in New Zealand.
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