Essen, Germany – The construction of a third greenfield tire production plant is still being pursued by Nokian Tyres plc, according to the Finnish group's CEO Ari Lehtoranta.
“We have two locations in mind, east Europe or North America, and we are now also considering the option of maybe getting into a partnership,” he told ERJ on the sidelines of the Reifen tire show on 24 May.
According to the CEO, the new plant will have a capacity of 5 million passenger car tires a year, and its location will be announced by the fourth quarter of this financial year.
Commenting on Nokian’s production and strategy in Russia, Lehtoranta said that the company was committed to that market and its tire plant there.
With the reduction of capacity at its Nokia, Finland facility, the production site in Vsevolozhsk, Russia is now the company’s main manufacturing site.
“For now, we are enjoying our plant, as our biggest production site” said Lehtoranta. “We are not too bothered about the [weakness of] the ruble, as we export so much from the Russian plant.”
Pointing to indicators that the Russian economy is improving, Lehtoranta said that he expected to see better results from the Russian market by the end of the year.