Nokian Tyres Opens Its U.S. Production Factory in Dayton, Tennessee
DAYTON, Tenn.--Nokian Tyres, a premium tire manufacturer dedicated to providing drivers with peace of mind in all conditions, celebrated the official opening of its North American production factory in Dayton, Tennessee on Wednesday. The 830,000-square-foot complex is one of the most advanced tire production facilities in the industry.
The company will channel its Scandinavian values of safety and sustainability into making approximately four million tires per year at the factory once it reaches full capacity. At that stage, the company will employ as many as 400 workers, providing a significant economic boost to the community 40 miles north of Chattanooga. The factory is currently in the trial production stage and will be ready to make tires for commercial use in early 2020.
“The grand opening of the Dayton Factory is a key milestone in our growth journey,” said Nokian Tyres President and CEO Hille Korhonen. “Our hard-working multinational team has brought our company’s vision to life through relentless teamwork, and we’re eager to celebrate their accomplishment. The North American factory provides a premium relationship with our customers by making safe, sustainable products that are tailored to the needs of North American consumers.”
Nokian Tyres broke ground on the factory in September 2017. Two years later, the facility stands poised to begin its journey as the company’s third production factory. Nokian Tyres has set a goal to double its North American sales in five years.
Founded and headquartered in Finland, Nokian Tyres invented the winter and all-weather tires and continues to craft premium products in all major passenger segments, including the all- season tire market, at its other facilities in Finland and Russia. At the Dayton factory, the company aims to fill expanding North American demand and seize on opportunities in the all- season and all-weather markets.
Nokian Tyres chose the Dayton site after an exhaustive nationwide selection process. Key factors included the area’s logistical convenience, wide array of skilled workers and robust state and local support. The company has been rewarded for its choice; more than 1,000 candidates applied to join the 60-member launch team earlier this year.
“I’d like to thank Nokian Tyres for creating hundreds of quality jobs for our residents in Southeast Tennessee,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said. “I’m pleased that Nokian has chosen to invest in Rhea County, and I look forward to seeing the positive economic impact this new facility will have on Dayton’s economy.”
The gleaming new Dayton factory is the result of around-the-clock collaboration between North American leadership, experts from Finland and Russia, construction workers, equipment installers and an enthusiastic first set of local employees eager to make some of the safest, most sustainable tires on the continent.
The company displayed its commitment to its workers by sending them on an immersive training experience at the company’s Russia and Finland factories after just a month of employment. Nearly four dozen employees participated in the program, which acquainted team members with the company’s premium tire production processes and allowed them to bond with each other and their overseas colleagues.
Employees also spent more than 1,000 combined hours serving the community during their first month of training. The overseas and service programs are examples of the company’s vigorous quest to recruit, equip and retain high-quality workers at the facility.
“We are committed to being the employer of choice in Southeast Tennessee by providing our employees with the skills, technology and support they need to succeed,” said Dayton Factory Operations Director Peter Chia. “Through a vibrant culture, this factory will embody our company’s ideals of entrepreneurship, inventiveness and team spirit.”
Nokian Tyres will maintain strict sustainability standards at the factory in order to minimize waste and emissions. Solar panels will be installed in the parking lot, and the company will recycle excess materials that result from production. The solar array in the parking lot will generate 3 megawatts of electricity to be utilized at the facility. In September, the company was selected to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year. Only top 10% of the most sustainable companies in the world are included in the index.
The eco-friendly facility will build a robust mix of all-season and all-weather products to meet consumer needs and fill rising demand for its products. It will also enable the company to more efficiently deliver its products to customers. The factory will help Nokian Tyres align its global production network to meet the demands of customers in other regions, freeing up capacity to tailor products to those markets and enrich responsiveness to its customers there.
“By producing our tires closer to wholesale and retail partners, we can continue to expand availability of our tires to consumers throughout North America,” said Nokian Tyres Senior Vice President Mark Earl, who oversees the company’s operations in the region.
The Southeast Tennessee facility is not the company’s only recent investment in the state. Nokian Tyres also opened a new North American headquarters office in Nashville last year.
“We’ve worked hard to create the best possible environment for job creation here in Tennessee, and our efforts are paying off,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “Nokian Tyres’ substantial investment in Dayton speaks to how attractive rural Tennessee is to international businesses.”
As the company celebrates completion of the production facility, it continues work on two other areas – a highly automated warehouse that will store as many as 600,000 tires, as well as a world-class administration building that will include offices, meeting spaces and areas devoted to employee wellness.
More information about the facility, including a list of job openings, is available at NokianTires.com/DaytonFactory.
For images and video of the facility, click here.
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Nokian Tyres develops and manufactures premium tires for people who value safety and sustainability. Inspired by our Scandinavian heritage, we craft innovative products for passenger cars, trucks and heavy machinery that give you peace of mind in all driving conditions. Our Vianor chain provides tire and car services. In 2018, the company’s net sales were USD $1.8 billion and it employed some 4,800 people. Nokian Tyres is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.