NOKIA, Finland—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. is planning to build a 3,230-acre tire testing facility in central Spain to help strengthen its expertise in summer tires.
Nokian is budgeting $19 million for the project, construction of which will run from early 2017 through late 2019. The technology center, as Nokian is calling it, will be built near Santa Cruz de la Zarza, Spain, a village of about 4,500 inhabitants 50 miles south of Madrid.
When in operation, the testing facility will employ 20-30 people in areas such as track maintenance and test driving.
The technology center will allow for year-round product development and testing on demanding and varying tracks, Nokian said, especially for summer tires with high speed ratings as well as the characteristics of winter tires.
“We wanted to find a place in southern Europe with sunshine, warmth and hot temperatures,” said Antti-Jussi Tahtinen, vice president, marketing and communications. “Naturally, the place would also need to have good air and road connections so that the tires, cars, test personnel and customers can easily reach it. We also intend to use the technology center for organizing product launch events.”