NOKIA, Finland (May 7, 2004) — Nokian Tyres P.L.C., pursuing a strategy of focusing on expanding and profitable markets, will boost capacity this summer for winter passenger tires at its Nokia plant, investing an undisclosed sum in eliminating production bottlenecks.
At the same time, Nokian said it will break ground this spring on a new tire plant in the St. Petersburg, Russia, area, which will make Nokian-brand passenger tires for Russia and other eastern European countries. Nokian has budgeted $65 million this year and next for the plant's first stage construction.
The plan to expand winter tire production, to 6 million units a year, coincides with increased contract manufacturing of lower-value-added products, which frees up space at the Nokia plant for more profitable products, the company said.
Along with expanded capacity, Nokian will launch a non-studded winter passenger tire and will expand the size range of its studded tire line.
Nokian Tyres has budgeted $80 million in capital investments this year – up 45 percent over 2003 – of which $27.5 million is earmarked for the Russian factory. Other investments will go into the debottlenecking and new molds for the Nokia plant.