DAYTON, Tenn. — The smiles were almost as abundant as the southeast heat and humidity Wednesday afternoon as executives from Nokian Tyres P.L.C. and officials from the state of Tennessee broke ground on the Finnish tire maker's first North American facility.
The $360 million facility will produce passenger, SUV and light truck tires specifically for North American consumers. It is scheduled to go on-stream in 2020 with 400 employees and an eventual capacity of 4 million tires per year.
With temperatures hovering in the 90s, Nokian President and CEO Hille Korhonen joined Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and a contingent of state, county and local politicians to celebrate the groundbreaking.
"This is really a historical moment for Nokian Tyres," Ms. Korhonen said from a tent erected at the plant site, as earthmovers dug in the distance. "I'm so proud of the company. We are so excited to get things moving. Through this almost $400 million U.S. investment, we are showing our commitment longterm to serve our customers and to become members of this society."