Nokian Tyres' Dayton factory produces first test tire

Close up of first made test tire. Image by WTVC


Nokian Tyres revealed their first successfully manufactured test tire today in Dayton, Tennessee.

Right now they have 75 employees but expect to hire at least 400 by the year 2021.

Operations Director Peter Chia says this milestone is the first of many to come for the company and the city of Dayton.

"For Dayton, this is a major investment for Dayton and this county and then obviously we um investing in people, training, and also providing jobs in the community," says Chia.


Nokian Tyres is now one step closer to getting things rolling.

Nokian Tyres says it has produced the first test tire at its new factory in Dayton, Tennessee, which is the company's first production plant in North America.

Nokian says the first tire, a Nokian eNTYRE 2.0 in size 205/55R16, marks the beginning of trial production. The company says it remains on schedule to start building tires for commercial sales in the early part of next year.

“We are thrilled to begin making premium tires at our new factory,” said Dayton Factory Operations Director Peter Chia. “While this moment is the culmination of lots of hard work, it’s only the start of the next phase of our journey here in Tennessee. I am endlessly proud of our team for working tirelessly to bring us to this point.”

Between now and the end of the year, Nokian Tyres says it will produce thousands of more tires for testing and machine calibration purposes. Annual capacity at the factory will be 4 million tires, with further expansion potential.

Now that trial production is underway, Nokian Tyres says it will soon turn its attention to growing its team at the factory. 75 people work there now.

Nokian says available positions will range from entry-level production roles to engineering and management opportunities. At full capacity, the company will employ about 400 workers at the factory.

“The first tire milestone is significant for our production team here in Dayton and for our employees throughout North America,” said Nokian Tyres Senior Vice President Mark Earl, who oversees the company’s North American operations. “We are thrilled to see how this factory will benefit our company, and we look forward to helping achieve strong economic growth in Southeast Tennessee.”

The factory's production team recently returned home from an intensive six-week training experience at Nokian Tyres’ other factories in Russia and Finland. Nokian says the training trip immersed employees in the company’s production processes and introduced them to its life-driven culture.

“We aren’t just focused on building premium products; we also want to offer a premium experience for members of our team,” Chia said. “Simply put: We want to be the employer of choice in Southeast Tennessee.”

Last year, the company opened a new headquarters office in Nashville, less than three hours from the Dayton Factory.

The company says the Dayton Factory is a major element of Nokian Tyres’ ambitious growth strategy, through which the company aims to double North American sales by 2023.

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