NOKIA, Finland—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has cut 41 jobs at its passenger car tire production plant in Nokia in response to what it described as "the weakened car and tire markets." The jobs eliminated mainly were in the production, maintenance and testing activities, the Finnish tire maker said in an Oct. 23 statement.
In addition to the cuts, Nokian will continue temporary layoffs during the remainder of the year and into the first three months of 2020.
Nokian, which said it is working with the impacted workers to provide "personalized outplacement coaching and training," also is exploring the possibility of relocating some employees, which could decrease the total amount of layoffs.
The tire maker also emphasized that it would continue to invest in and develop the factory in Finland.
"A high-performing factory is vital for the product and process development, which enable Nokian Tyres to keep producing premium tires in Finland and ensure the company's competitiveness," the company statement concluded.
The layoffs come on the heels of the tire maker's decision to cut operational costs, a move that was disclosed in August. Those actions included organizational changes throughout sites in Europe, and they were the direct result of anticipated costs increases that came with the opening of the Dayton, Tenn., factory—which set to begin commercial production at the start of the new year—and investments in technology company-wide.
The weakening automotive markets that are driving personnel cuts also have led Nokian to lower its previously issued business guidance for the full year.
In June, Nokian said it expected net sales to come in slightly higher than last year, while operating profit to be lower than 2018. Net sales now are expected to be approximately at the level of 2018 and the operating profit margin is expected to be around 20 percent. Operating profit, Nokian said, will include "significant additional" operating costs to support growth targets in Russia, central Europe, and North America.