NOKIA, Finland — Three months after announcing plans to continue limited tire production in Russia, Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has changed course.
The Finnish tire maker said its board of directors has approved a "controlled exit" from Russia, explaining that Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions make it "no longer feasible nor sustainable" to continue operating there.
This move is significant for Nokian: The Russian market — along with Asia — represented 20% of the company's net sales last year, and 80% of Nokian's passenger tires produced in 2021 were made in Russia.
"After a thorough consideration and assessment of various options, we have decided to rebuild Nokian Tyres without a presence in Russia and focus on growth opportunities in our other core markets," Jukka Moisio, Nokian president and CEO said after the June 28 board meeting.
"This was not an easy decision given we have over 1,600 dedicated employees in Russia whose expertise we highly value as well as many long-standing customer and supplier relations built over the past 17 years."
The company said it will make the move with its employees and legislation in mind.