CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has developed a premium all-season tire for light trucks, commercial vans and sport utility vehicles, the One HT, that will replace the Rotiiva HT in the tire maker's lineup starting in early 2020.
Nokian claims the One HT outperforms the Rotiiva in wet grip, durability and comfort and even offers a modicum of winter traction properties, although it's not verified as a winter tire.
The tire line will launch in January with 36 sizes covering 16- to 22-inch rim diameter, including 14 LT light truck size SKUs that feature "Aramid Armor." The technology extends Nokian's use of chopped aramid fibers in certain tires' sidewall compounds to the tread compound for increased puncture resistance.
The LT sizes also incorporate an enhanced undertread nylon overlay with additional thickness in the tread's center.
Nokian will produce the tire at its plant in Russia initially but has plans to make at least some sizes at its new plant in Dayton, which is expected to begin commercial-scale production in early January.
Nokian has tested the One HT at various venues around the world, including its winter test track in Ivalo, Finland. For rugged, hot terrain testing, the tire maker will head to Texas and Utah, while the backroads of South Africa and urban environments in California offer additional testing opportunities.
The metric/P-metric sizes of the One HT — those more suited for SUVs — incorporate Nokian's Aramid Sidewall technology to provide added sidewall protection potholes and other obstacles but do not have the Aramid Armor feature.
Nokian previewed the tire the week of Sept. 30 for selected dealers and automotive/trade media in eastern Tennessee, including an extended drive through on logging roads through the Cherokee National Forest, to demonstrate the HT-designated tire's capabilities in off-road conditions.
Nokian did not disclose pricing information, but executives said they expect it sell at a slight premium over the Rotiiva, which is being phased out of the lineup.