A new factory near the Hungarian border will produce 6 million tires a year
Nokia, Finland – Nokian Tires plc will invest €650 million in a new passenger car tire plant in Romania as part of its strategy to exit Russia and strengthen its market presence, particularly in Europe central.
The planned facility – which will be “the first zero-CO2 emission factory in the tire industry” – will be located in Oradea, in northwestern Romania, near the Hungarian border, Nokian announced on November 1. .
Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 and the first tires are expected to be produced in the second half of 2024, according to the tire maker’s statement.
Large-scale tire production is expected to start in early 2025, with the Finnish automaker noting that the plant will have an annual capacity of 6 million units with “potential for expansion in the future”.
The site will also include major tire storage and distribution facilities.
“This investment is an important strategic decision enabling our future growth,” said Jukka Moisio, President and CEO.
“A world-class manufacturing facility in Europe is a key step…as we start building the new Nokian Tires without Russia,” he added.
The plant is expected to employ 500 people and will focus on the production of larger rim size passenger car and SUV tires which will mainly be sold in the Central European market.
“Central Europe is an important market for us, and this investment shows our commitment to the market,” said Adrian Kaczmarczyk, senior vice president of procurement operations.
Nokian said it chose the site after a thorough evaluation of more than 40 sites and several factors, such as the availability of skilled labor, logistical advantages and a stable business environment.
“It was clear that Oradea was the best choice for our new plant,” Kaczmarczyk added.
In terms of zero CO2 emissions from the plant, Kaczmarczyk said the location can use green energy produced near the site.
Additionally, Nokian is “critically evaluating” its production processes to find “the most sustainable ways to produce tires”, Kaczmarczyk added.
Nokian announced in June that he was leaving Russia due to the war with Ukraine and the ensuing tougher sanctions against Moscow.
In October, the Finnish tire maker signed an agreement to sell its Russian operations to local buyer Tatneft.