Haslam, Commissioner Rolfe, Nokian Tyres Announce New U.S. Manufacturing Operations in Rhea County

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 | 8:31am

Tire manufacturer to invest $360 million, create 400 jobs

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Nokian Tyres officials today announced the company will build a new tire manufacturing facility in Dayton.

Nokian Tyres will create at least 400 new jobs and invest $360 million in the facility, which represents the largest foreign direct investment in Rhea County’s history.

“Nokian Tyres’ decision to locate its new operations here is a tremendous win for Rhea County and our state, and we want to thank Nokian Tyres for its decision to invest in Southeast Tennessee,” Haslam said. “We’ve worked hard to create the best possible environment for job creation, and the recent passage of the IMPROVE Act played a critical role in attracting this great company to Tennessee. Today’s announcement speaks volumes about Tennessee’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

As part of the IMPROVE Act, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed to law in April 2017, manufacturing companies will have the option to use a single weighted sales factor, which will make Tennessee more competitive when recruiting new manufacturing companies and jobs.

“I appreciate Nokian Tyres for making this significant investment in Dayton and for choosing Rhea County as the location for its new manufacturing facility,” Rolfe said. “With the creation of these 400 jobs and the substantial investment of $360 million, Nokian Tyres’ choice in selecting the rural community of Dayton will be an enormous boost to Rhea County and its citizens as well as the state of Tennessee as a whole. I look forward to our future relationship with Nokian Tyres, and I am excited to watch this company grow in our state.”

Headquartered in Finland, with a North American sales office in Vermont, Nokian Tyres is the only tire manufacturer in the world that focuses on customer needs in demanding conditions. The company supplies innovative tires for cars, trucks and special heavy machinery mainly in areas with special challenges for tire performance including snow, forests and harsh driving conditions in different seasons.

“The factory is above all a strategic decision to continue and enable Nokian Tyres' growth path,” Nokian Tyres’ Chairman of the Board of Directors Petteri Walldén said. “The total sales of tires is estimated to grow in coming years. With this investment, we will get the needed capacity for growth. And while the Dayton factory clearly enables us to serve our North American customers better and more efficiently, it also improves our production capabilities and customer service throughout our global operations.”

“Selecting a North American site shows our commitment to our customers in one of our most important growth areas,” Nokian Tyres’ Interim President and CEO Andrei Pantioukhov said. “The Dayton/Rhea County site was selected based on several factors, including skilled workforce availability, logistical advantages and a business-friendly administration. After thorough investigation, it was clear that Tennessee was the best choice for the factory, and we are proud to become part of the community.”

Nokian Tyres’ new Tennessee facility will focus on manufacturing passenger, SUV and light-truck tires. The company will begin construction on the new 830,000-square-foot facility in early 2018, and the facility is expected to be completed in 2020.

Local officials expressed gratitude to Nokian Tyres for its commitment to Rhea County.

“We are so proud to announce this opportunity with Nokian Tyres. This investment will forever change the economic landscape of our entire region and provide hundreds of great paying jobs right here in Dayton,” Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen said. “I am also very proud of the City of Dayton team and the leadership that initially invested into Rail Hub South development to attract investments such as this one. Nokian Tyres will be a great fit for our community.”

“I am so proud of the entire extended team that has worked so hard to bring this project to Dayton. It has been a great regional and statewide team effort to align the resources to deliver the plan for long term success,” Rhea County Mayor George Thacker said. “We’re excited to have Nokian Tyres here in Rhea County. Our team is all aligned to help bring this project to life.”

“I am honored to be a small part of landing this project that will change Rhea County history forever,” Rhea Economic & Tourism Council Executive Director Dennis Tumlin said. “This investment by Nokian Tyres will reflect the single largest foreign direct investment into Rhea County ever. It is also the single largest initial job announcement by a private company in Rhea County history. Our local partnership with the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership along with the entire Team Tennessee has created this opportunity that will be felt for the next 50 years in our community.”

"TVA and the City of Dayton Electric Department congratulate Nokian Tyres on its announcement to locate and create hundreds of new jobs in Dayton,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the State of Tennessee, Rhea Economic and Tourism Council, the City of Dayton, and Rhea County on winning a project of this magnitude for a community that has definitely earned it.”

For more information on Nokian Tyres’ Dayton facility, please visit nokiantires.com/daytonfactory.

Dayton and Rhea County are represented by Sen. Ken Yager (R – Kingston) and Rep. Ron Travis (R – Dayton) in the Tennessee General Assembly.

About Nokian Tyres

Nokian Tyres is the world's northernmost tyre manufacturer. The company promotes and facilitates safe driving in demanding conditions. It supplies innovative tyres for cars, trucks and special heavy machinery mainly in areas with special challenges on tyre performance: snow, forests and harsh driving conditions in different seasons. Nokian Tyres’ product development is consistently aiming for sustainable solutions for safety and the environment, taking into account the whole life cycle of the tyre. A part of the Nokian Tyres group, the tyre chain Vianor has over 1,500 outlets in 27 countries. In 2016, Nokian Tyres had approximately 4,400 employees and net sales of approximately $1.5 billion. (EUR 1,4 billion.)