NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. is laying off all 1,630 employees for two weeks at its Finnish operations and idling production at its Russian factory in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The shutdown, starting April 6, affects both passenger and heavy commercial tire production, Nokian said.
In addition, due to the increased uncertainty in the global vehicle and tire markets, Nokian's board of directors withdrew the company's financial guidance for 2020 published in early February.
In its February outlook, the tire maker said it anticipated net sales to decline and operating profit to be "significantly below the level of 2019."
In Russia, Nokian started a one-week shutdown March 30 at the car and light truck tire plant in Vsevolozhsk, which employs 975 and is rated at 15.5 million units a year.
The closing in Russia coincides with a state decree declaring a nationwide holiday starting March 30 to encourage people to stay home and slow the spread of the COVID-19, Nokian said.
The temporary closure will not impact the company's projected production volume during this year.
"We have completed the necessary preparations at both factories and are ready to follow guidelines provided by local authorities. The company will continue to take all reasonable steps necessary to help limit the spread of COVID-19," Esa Eronen, senior vice president, Supply Operations, said.
These closings are in addition to the two-week suspension of production at the firm's Dayton, Tenn., factory that started March 27.
Nokian said it has suspended temporarily all business travel, and asked its employees not to have face-to-face meetings. All company employees who have traveled internationally are expected to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days after returning.
Nokian will continue supplying customers through its regional warehouses, according to the Finnish tire maker's statement.