Dayton, Tennessee – Nokian Tyres Inc. plans to restart production at its Dayton factory on 4 May, ending a five-week-long Covid-19-induced shutdown.
Nokian said it reached its decision to reopen after monitoring local and federal guidelines and recent actions taken by the State of Tennessee to begin reopening the state's economy.
Some employees will return to the plant starting 27 April to help prepare for a phased reopening process, Nokian said.
The company idled production at the year-old factory on 27 March, saying at that time it expected the shutdown to last "at least two weeks."
The company, a subsidiary of Finland's Nokian Tyres plc, then extended the temporary closure of the plant on 8 April through at least 26 April, saying at the time its decision was in "accordance with guidelines from public authorities."
The company stressed that it would not reopen the factory unless it was confident it could provide a safe working environment for its employees.
Nokian christened the factory, its fourth worldwide and first in North America, last October, just 24 months after breaking ground on the $360 million project.
At full capacity, the factory will be capable of turning out 4 million passenger and light truck tires annually, the company said.
During the start-up phase, the factory is producing the company's enTYRE touring and WRG4 all-weather tires.