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More than 75 years of Nokian winter tires
More than 75 years of Nokian tires
The Nokia rubber factory launched passenger car tire production in 1932 when the compressors and curing presses required for tire manufacture were ordered. The first Nokian tires featured four layers of fabric and a very flat surface, as if a board had been slammed on the tire.
The world’s first winter tire in 1934
In the very early stages of tire manufacture, Nokian engineers were quick to understand the need for a tire type that was specifically suited to the Nordic conditions. As a result, the first tread-patterned tire designed for winter use in trucks and lorries, or “weather tire” as it was called, was manufactured.
The first Hakkapeliitta tire manufactured in 1936
The first winter tire paved the way for the first Hakkapeliitta winter tire designed for passenger cars, later named Snow Hakkapeliitta. The tire tread showed a stepped, relatively sparse transverse pattern equipped with so-called suction pads. This tread pattern remained unchanged until the 1950s. Before the Winter War, Nokian manufactured 20,000 Hakkapeliitta tires in six different sizes.
Worldwide introduction in Monte Carlo
The history of Nokian Hakkapeliitta winter tires is colourful and prestigious. Manufactured since 1936, Hakkapeliitta tires achieved worldwide fame in the legendary Monte Carlo rallies in the 1950s and 1960s. Cars equipped with studded Kometa Hakkapeliitta tires were superior on snowy and icy mountain roads. Finnish drivers continued to do well in rallies, giving rise to the notion of "Flying Finns". Hakkapeliitta tires proved their unique features and were soon coveted by competitors from many different countries.
Ice driving world record
Today's Hakkapeliitta tires also perform excellently in fast-paced challenges such as the Monte Carlo rallies. The new world record for fastest car on ice was set by Nokian Tyres' test driver Janne Laitinen who drove 331,610 km/h (206,05 mph) on the Gulf of Bothnia in Oulu, Finland. The record was broken on March 6th 2011 on a 14-kilometre ice track in freezing conditions. The world's leading winter tire manufacturer equipped the record-breaking car with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded tyres (255/35R20 97 T XL).
75 years of safety
The R&D principle has remained more or less the same for over 75 years: the demanding objective is to develop tyres for people driving in Nordic conditions who value safety and who expect reliable tire performance in any situation.
The latest additions to the Nokian Hakkapeliitta family are the studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV and the studless Nokian Hakkapeliitta R. All tires have achieved several wins in tests conducted by both Finnish and international magazines. The tires include many innovations that improve the grip in demanding weather conditions, reduce the rolling resistance and consequently fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
- The decades of Hakkapeliitta (pdf)
- History in Brief
- Over one hundred years of professional skill, inventiveness and will (An article from Hakkapeliitta Spirit, a magazine for Nokian Tyres' personnel.)
- Nokian winter tyres from 1934 to today.(Image collection, pdf.)
- The first Hakkapeliitta tyre is a winner on snowy roads. (Video, mpg file, size 3.9 MB. Audio in Finnish.)