By Shahrzad Pourriahi, Crain News Service
NOKIA, Finland (May 11, 2015) — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. is planning to increase capacity at its plant in Russia and is scouting locations in eastern Europe for a new plant, according to CEO Ari Lehtoranta, speaking at a conference call about its financial results.
Mr. Lehtoranta said Nokian intends to install an extra production line — the 14th — at its plant in Vsevolozhsk, Russia, near Saint Petersburg. He didn't disclose the timing, scale or value of the expansion at the plant, which opened in 2005 and has since been expanded to 15 million tires annually. Mixing capacity there would be expanded as well.
He added that Nokian's plans for a third plant focus on eastern Europe to support the growth in central Europe — which represents about a quarter of global sales — but that North America and Asia also could be possible locations for the plant. Nokian has been studying the feasibility of a third plant since early 2013.
Regarding North America as a location, Mr. Lehtoranta said: “If growth in North America would prove to be sustainable, it might make sense to put it there.”