Over 80 years of Nokian winter 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 

The new world record for fastest car on ice was achieved by Nokian Tyres, inventor of the winter tire, when test driver Janne Laitinen drove at a speed of 335.713 kilometres per hour (208.602 mph) on the ice of the Gulf of Bothnia in freezing winter weather. Grip and speed like never before were ensured by the new spearhead product for the world’s leading manufacturer of winter tires – the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 studded tire (255/35R20 97 T XL).

Over 80 years of safety 

The R&D principle has remained more or less the same for 80 years: the demanding objective is to develop tires 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 8 and the non-studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 SUV. 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.