Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has broken ground in Vsevolozhsk, Russia, on a tire plant it expects will be producing tires by next year.
Nokian has budgeted $63.5 million for the plant near St. Petersburg, which will have a start-up annual capacity of 1.5 million passenger tires by 2006. The initial construction phase will yield a plant spanning 226,000 square feet, sufficient to accommodate a capacity of 4 million tires annually, Nokian said. Capacity will be expanded gradually, eventually reaching 8 million units by 2016.
The plant is designed to be as automated as possible and have minimal environmental impact, Nokian said.
The factory will make Nokian-branded passenger car tires, which will be sold primarily in the growing Russian market. Initially, the plant will employ about 200, most of whom will be Russian. Nokian Tyres said it will start training the new personnel this fall.