IVALO, Finland—Goodyear Dunlop Europe has opened a dedicated winter tire testing facility, the Arctic Centre, near Ivalo in northern Finland.
Goodyear is leasing the facility, which comprises a frozen lake and trails through the nearby forest, from Action Park Ivalo Oy, a Finnish enterprise that operates a winter driving school and park.
The Akron-based tire maker said it will have exclusive access to the track for the foreseeable future. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Goodyear said the facility's location in a valley creates a microclimate that is suitable for testing tires in snow and ice conditions from November to early April.
The Arctic Centre has several snow and ice rinks for various tests, modern IT equipment as well as most garages for preparation and storage of test vehicles and tires.
“We are very excited to launch the Arctic Centre,” said Jean-Pierre Jeusette, director general of Goodyear's Innovation Center.
“Having the possibility to work in ideal ice and snow conditions is a true asset. By definition, snow sciences cannot be studied nor put into practice in an office as they require field experience. That is the condition to deploy state-of-the art tire technology”
The Arctic Centre will complement the winter testing Goodyear already carries out at sites in France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and New Zealand.
Laurent Colantino, director of global tire performance prediction, said the facility's infrastructure and the experience of the staff there will strengthen Goodyear Dunlop's ability and capacity to test winter tires for both consumer and truck tires.
Ivalo is also home to winter testing facilities of Nokian Tyres P.L.C. and independent vehicle testing enterprise Test World Oy, which operates both outdoor and indoor winter test facilities for tires and vehicles.
Bridgestone Corp. leases an automotive proving ground near Vidsel, Sweden, for up to 17 weeks a year throughout the winter season