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Where rubber meets the road


In 1934, Nokian Tyres invented the winter tyre. This advancement led to safer cold weather transport of private and commercial vehicles alike. Born from innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, the company continues to constantly strive to develop the next best thing, keeping safety, sustainability and performance in mind.

“In our firm, we value our employees and encourage them to try new things,” says Hannu Liitsola, Managing Director. “We aren’t afraid of failure, because without failure, advancements would not be possible.”

This attitude led to the business creating the first studded tyre in 1961 and now, the Hakkapeliitta 9, its patented double studded grip tyre. The desire to continually create and improve has also resulted in the company reaching new levels of sustainability.

“We were the first to use purified oils in our products, our summer tyre has an AA rating, our winter tyre is the first to have an A rating and we have been selected to join the Dow Jones Sustainability Index,” explains Mr. Liitsola.

Year-round tyres are an up-and-coming market in the industry, and similar to its approach to its summer and winter tyre lines, Nokian Tyres is also hard at work making its all-weather tyre the best it can be. “We approach this type of tyre differently from our competitors,” states Mr. Liitsola. “We start in the winter and make sure the tyre is safe for that time of year before moving to the summer testing phase, whereas other companies start in the summer and move to the winter.”

Having a quality tyre in every category for passenger, recreational and various commercial vehicles has led to the business being active in 27 countries in Europe and recently has entered the US market. The firm is currently building a new production facility in the US, which should be fully operational by 2020. It is also constructing a testing facility in Spain that will be up-and-running in 2019.

Other focus areas include, making sure its tyres stay profitable for its distributors, continuing to innovate as much as possible and increasing its presence in the global marketplace. “We’re a world record holding company in many areas and will keep living up to that reputation of excellence,” sums up Mr. Liitsola.

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