Nokian is setting up a new technology center based in Santa Cruz de la Zarza in Spain, which will be used for the development of summer and winter tires. The test base will span approximately 300 hectares and will enable year-round testing on a variety of test tracks. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 with the first stage to be completed within that year and completion due in 2019. Around US$17.8m (€16m) will be invested in the facility.
The center will include a 5km oval track that circles the site, which will have banked curves, enabling testing of summer and winter tires with high-speed ratings at speeds of up to 300km/h (186mph).
Other test tracks will also be constructed in the center of the oval track, which will be used to study and test the aquaplaning, wet braking and handling behavior of tires. It will also be suitable for the majority of tire approval tests.
Antti-Jussi Tähtinen, VP of marketing and communications at Nokian Tyres, said, “We wanted to find a place in Southern Europe with sunshine, warmth and hot temperatures. Naturally, the place would also need to have good air and road connections so that the tires, cars, test personnel and customers can easily reach it. We also intend to use the technology center for organizing product launch events.”