The profit centre develops, manufactures and markets summer and winter tyres for passenger cars, vans and SUVs. Key products include studded and non-studded winter tyres, as well as high-speed summer tyres. Winter tyres usually account nearly 80% of the unitís net sales. The Nordic countries, Russia and the CIS countries are the core markets, while Central and Eastern Europe, the Alpine region and North America constitute other important market areas.
All tyres are developed in Finland. The main products are manufactured in the companyís own plants in Nokia, Finland, and Vsevolozhsk, Russia and are sold on replacement markets. The companyís spearhead product, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7, is a studded winter tyre for northern conditions that once again finished on top in virtually all winter tyre tests conducted by Nordic and Russian car magazines in 2010.
In 2010, Nokian passenger car tyresí sales grew by more than 35%, half of it generated by Russian winter tyre sales. Sales were also at a record high in the Nordic countries, as well as in Central and Eastern Europe. Nokian Tyres increased its market share in all of these sales regions. Winter tyres raised their share of the sales mix to 76% of the overall volume.
Prices were raised in all product groups to compensate for higher raw material cost. A better sales mix and exchange rate changes in the core markets also helped to raise the average price by 5%. Owing to lower inventories, investments and trade receivables, the cash flow and working capital rotation notably improved year-over-year.
The launch of two new production lines (7 and 8) in Russia was the main reason for the 40% increase in production volumes. The structural changes carried out in 2009 and the enhanced utilisation of capacity led to clearly improved productivity at both plants. The company has decided to construct two new production lines (9 and 10) at the Russian plant in 2011.
At the end of 2010, the order book and weekly production volumes of passenger car tyres were at a record high.