Nordic winter tyre specialist Nokian Tyres is stepping up its efforts to develop all-season and summer tyres. It already operates two test centres in its home market of Finland, but this is not the place to evaluate warm weather performance. For that, it turns to Spain. Plans for a new testing and technology centre in Castile-La Mancha were first announced back in 2016 but construction has only just now begun. The first test tracks should be completed next year, while the new technology centre is expected to become fully operational in 2020.
The focus is on summer and all-season tyres with a high speed rating, a segment for which there is strong demand in Central Europe and North America. Developers are looking to improve safety, functionality and eco-friendliness. Teams are also investigating possible uses of the guayule plant for more environmentally friendly tyre manufacturing. Pontus Stenberg, Vice President of the Products and Technologies unit for Nokian Tyres, shares his view on how this new location supports the company’s wider product development efforts….