Testing commences at Nokian Tyres Test Center in Spain.
Nokian Tyres has begun testing at its new Test Center in Santa Cruz de la Zarza, Spain. The company will utilise all ten tracks to test tires across a range of extreme conditions. Its largest track is 7 kilometres long, an oval that circles the facility.
"All our test centres are investments in innovativeness, and the expansion of testing activities is a big and important leap for us. The test centre's versatile tracks and modern equipment enable us to test tires on wet and dry so that heavy rain or intense heat will not bring any surprises. The Spain Test Center, combined with our Ivalo winter Test Center in Lapland, takes our overall testing capability to the highest possible level," - says Olli Seppälä, Head of R&D.
Nokian Tyres says the new Test Center will enable the company to speed up the product development cycles and strengthen its position as a manufacturer of premium tires.
"Now we can test our tires in our test center in all the conditions they are developed for. This is a big competitive advantage for us – especially when considering the products developed for the Central European market as well as for the North American market," Seppälä continues.
The new test centre already has a nickname: Hakka Ring. Nokian Tyres' employees suggested around 150 different aliases for the new test centre in an internal name competition. Hakka Ring was the winner as Hakka and Hakkapeliitta are the well-known products brands by Nokian Tyres, and the most famous tracks in the world are called 'Ring'.
Construction work of the test centre began in 2018. Due to COVID19, construction work was halted for a brief period but continued once the situation stabilised, and necessary safety measures were taken. The project is an integral part of Nokian Tyres' growth.
"Similar test centres are rarely built in the world, and the world-class test conditions increase our credibility as a premium tire manufacturer," says Jukka Kasi, SVP Products and Innovations.
Now all the different tracks have been finalised, a team is being gathered around the test center.
"The entire project has required long-term concentration, as well as great passion, aspiration and professionalism to turn a dream into reality," Kasi praises the Nokian Tyres team.
Nokian Tyres Spain Test Center Facts:
The location in Spain enables year-round testing of summer, all-season, and winter tires.
In the 300-hectare area, there are several test tracks for dry and wet testing and the high-speed oval enabling testing of up to 300 km/h.
The centre uses sustainable technologies, including over 1,000 solar panels, water recycling, and white roofs.
Nokian Tyres is involved in researching new bio-based materials near the site to enable even more sustainable tire production in the future.
The Spain based test centre is the companies third testing facility. It complements their tire testing network, consisting of a 700-hectare site in Ivalo, Finnish Lapland, and a site near their Finnish headquarters in Nokia.