NOKIA, Finland (Nov. 21, 2016) — Nokian Tyres P.L.C.'s outgoing CEO Ari Lehtoranta will present his proposal for a third tire plant to the company's board before year-end, he told industry analysts in a recent conference call.
“As for the third factory, we are progressing and we are putting forward a proposal to the board in this quarter,” said Mr. Lehtoranta, who is stepping down from his position at year-end.
“Whether the board will be able to make an immediate decision or leave the final decision to be reviewed by my successor, I cannot guarantee,” he added.
The proposal will be presented to the next board meeting in December. Nokian has identified Eastern Europe and the U.S. as the likely sites.
On the point of his successor, Mr. Lehtoranta said Nokian's board was working on the issue but that there was “nothing to report.”
Earlier this year, Mr. Lehtoranta confirmed that two locations, east Europe or North America, were being studied for the plant.
“We are now also considering the option of maybe getting into a partnership,” he told European Rubber Journal at the Reifen tire show in May.
According to the CEO, the new plant will have a capacity of 5 million passenger car tires a year, and its location will be announced by the fourth quarter of this financial year.
Nokian's existing factories are in Vsevolozhsk, Russia, and Nokia.
Shahrzad Pourri is a reporter with European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sister publication of Tire Business.