DAYTON, Tenn.—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. is ceasing production for at least two weeks at its plant in Dayton, starting March 27, in order to safeguard the well-being of Nokian Tyres employees and the Southeast Tennessee community amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
Nokian said it will evaluate the situation as it unfolds in order to set a date to reopen. The factory's leadership team will monitor all developments, as well as Centers for Disease Control Prevention, state and local guidelines.
"The safety of our team and our community is our most important priority," Dayton Factory Operations Director Peter Chia said. "That's why we are taking this proactive step during this challenging time."
Nokian said it "embraces safety as a critical core value" and will continue to take all reasonable steps necessary to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
During the closure, cleaning services will clean offices and production equipment. Employees temporarily will be furloughed, and the company does not plan to lay off any workers at the factory permanently, it said.
This temporary closure will not significantly impact the company's projected production volume or regional growth plan. Nokian Tyres will continue supplying customers through its regional warehouses located throughout North America.
Nokian also is planning to adjust production at its Vzevolozhsk, Russia, plant in line with global demand and has opened negotiations with employees at its operations in Finland about possible temporary layoffs amid the COVID-19 outbreak and slow demand in Europe.