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Tue July 2 05:08 am 2019 in category Company news

Progress at Nokian Tyres' Spain Test Track Remains on Schedule

Nokian Tyres’ new testing center in Spain enables year-round testing of summer, all-season and winter tires and the tracks will be ready in 2020. The total investment is estimated to be $67 million.

SANTA CRUZ DE LA ZARZA, SPAIN -- Where once stood a yellowish line of numerous small fields, now offers an impressive sight of different test tracks taking form. Despite some heavy rain during spring, construction work of the new Nokian Tyres testing center in Spain is proceeding in schedule.

Probably the most impressive feature is the oval track with banked curves. The over 7-kilometer-long oval track is beginning to take shape, and a team from Germany that specializes in constructing banked curves of oval tracks is currently working on the topography and the upper layers of the track curves.

The 740-acre site is situated in Santa Cruz de la Zarza, a small town about one hour’s drive south of the Spanish capital Madrid.

“The testing center in Spain is the largest single investment in testing the company has made in its history. It will improve our chances to produce compatible products for the growth markets aligned in our strategy. It also supports the work invested in research and development of all our products,” says Juha Pirhonen, Vice President of Tire Technologies.

The main focus is on summer and all-season tires and tires with a high speed rating; there is especially high demand for them in Nokian Tyres’ growth markets in Central Europe and North America, where the company will soon be opening a new factory. Another focus area of the testing center is to develop each product’s year-round safety properties.

Testing is a crucial part of developing safe tires

Most of the preparatory work for over 10 test tracks at the new testing center is now ready: top layers of the soil have been removed and machines have opened the worksites of tracks. The next phase is executing the careful ground construction work for layers of asphalt, which for most of the tracks will be completed in 2020.

Construction work at the oval track is most advanced: The banking of the southern curve and the ground work are ready. Next up are fine profiling and laying the first layers for asphalt. Once ready, the oval track enables testing tires at speeds of up to 190 miles per hour.

The new testing site will be the third for Nokian Tyres. It complements the company’s existing tire testing network, which consists of a 1700-acre site in Ivalo, Finland for testing winter tires and a site near the Finnish headquarters in Nokia.

Sustainable approach: exploring new eco-friendly raw materials

One of the development areas of Nokian Tyres is the guayule plant, a possible raw material for tires. Nokian Tyres participates in cultivating and studying it together with the local universities and co-operation partners as one possible source of high-quality natural rubber. The plantation is managed by local farmers.

The company has also preserved 25 hectares of land for wildlife protection. This includes constructing a nesting house for hawks and owls and constructing water elements for birds, which will be surveyed during the next 3 years. Also, holm oaks and other trees will be planted on the site.

Link to video: https://youtu.be/RKqOs72aus0

Pictures and infographics: http://www.nokiantyres.com/testing-center-spain