More than 75 years of Nokian winter tyres
More than 75 years of
Nokian winter tyres
So stop for a moment, enjoy winter, and read the story of the snow and ice champion on our online history website, published to celebrate the 75th anniversary, at www.nokiantyres.com/hakkapeliitta75.
The Nokia rubber factory launched passenger car tyre production in 1932 when the compressors and curing presses required for tyre manufacture were ordered. The first Nokian tyres featured four layers of fabric and a very flat surface, as if a board had been slammed on the tyre.
The world’s first winter tyre in 1934In the very early stages of tyre manufacture, Nokian engineers were quick to understand the need for a tyre type that was specifically suited to the Nordic conditions. As a result, the first tread-patterned tyre designed for winter use in trucks and lorries, or “weather tyre” as it was called, was manufactured.
The first Hakkapeliitta tyre manufactured in 1936The first winter tyre paved the way for the first Hakkapeliitta winter tyre designed for passenger cars, later named Snow Hakkapeliitta. The tyre 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 tyres in six different sizes.
Worldwide introduction in Monte Carlo
The history of Nokian Hakkapeliitta winter tyres is colourful and prestigious. Manufactured since 1936, Hakkapeliitta tyres achieved worldwide fame in the legendary Monte Carlo rallies in the 1950s and 1960s. Cars equipped with studded Kometa Hakkapeliitta tyres 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 tyres proved their unique features and were soon coveted by competitors from many different countries.
Ice driving world record
Today's Hakkapeliitta tyres 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 tyre 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 tyre 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 tyres have achieved several wins in tests conducted by both Finnish and international magazines. The tyres include many innovations that improve the grip in demanding weather conditions, reduce the rolling resistance and consequently fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
The first Nokian Hakkapeliitta tyre from 1936: Snow-Hakkapeliitta.
- 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.)