NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. is greenlighting plans for a tire plant in the U.S., approving plans to invest $360 million at a site in eastern Tennessee that will include a distribution center.
The plant, to be built near Dayton, Tenn., will be rated at 4 million car and light truck tires a year with an accompanying 600,000 tire warehouse. Nokian disclosed its long-delayed decision on a third factory on May 3 during the release of the firm's first-quarter financial results.
The company expects to start construction in early 2018 and begin production in 2020 with a workforce of 400 at full capacity, the company said. Dayton is a town of about 7,000 inhabitants located between Chattanooga and Knoxville in Rhea County.
"The factory is, above all, a strategic decision to continue and enable Nokian Tyres' growth path," Nokian Chairman Petteri Wallden said.
"The total sales of tires is estimated to grow in coming years. With this investment, we will get the needed capacity for growth. And while the Dayton factory clearly enables us to serve our North American customers better and more efficiently, it also improves our production capabilities and customer service throughout our global operations,"
Nokian has been evaluating its options for a third factory since 2013 and first floated the idea of building in the U.S. in early 2016."This is a significant announcement for both the state of Tennessee as well as the city of Dayton," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. "It showcases how our state's ideal location and strong workforce creates an environment where companies like Nokian Tyres will thrive and succeed."