Product safety and quality
For more than 80 years, our solid experience and open mind in product development have resulted in patented solutions that improve safety and driving comfort in the demanding conditions.
Our company invests in the latest technology and materials. This is demonstrated by the periodic renewal of our comprehensive product range that we tailor carefully for different markets: new products comprise at least a quarter of our annual turnover.
The basic principle of our product development has remained the same for more than 80 years: our tyres are designed for the challenging conditions and for consumers who demand safety, durability and comfort under all conditions.
Consumers’ tyre choice is based on the tyre’s suitability for their use scenario and way of driving. For example, a contractor that operates heavy machinery requires a different type of tyre than someone who drives a passenger car. Contractors look for efficiency improvements and a longer service life. In line with our global product policy, we offer tailored products and precision innovations for different circumstances and markets. Our development efforts are guided by the principle of sustainable safety: the safe characteristics of a tyre need to remain virtually unchanged throughout the lifecycle of the product.
In 2015, the Nordic winter tyres with high ice grip comprised 60.6% of our entire winter tyre range. The proportion of tyres that reduce fuel consumption through ultra-low rolling resistance was 85% (compared to 76% in 2014). A total of 90.4% of our summer tyre products were in the very high wet grip category. Our premium tyres with low rolling resistance and high wet grip correspond to categories A, B and C in the EU tyre label. The number of our active products also grew by 12% in 2015.
We build our products around green choices
Our principle of sustainable safety in product development incorporates our promise of developing eco-friendly products and production technologies. As a tyre industry forerunner, we have pioneered the development of products that use eco-friendly raw materials and minimise the environmental impacts during use.
In 2015, for example, we launched summer and winter tyres with the EU tyre label’s class A ratings: The Nokian Hakka Green 2 and Nokian eLine 2 summer tyres as well as the Nokian WR SUV 3 winter tyre (size 265/50 R19 V) all have class A rolling resistance. Nokian WR SUV 3 is the world’s first winter tyre with the EU tyre label’s best class A wet grip and fuel efficiency ratings. The size ranges of Nokian Hakka Green 2 and Nokian eLine 2 include several models with the EU tyre label’s class A wet grip and rolling resistance. The EU tyre label’s ratings vary within the same range of tyres.
We completely stopped using harmful high-aromatic oils in our production already in late 2004. We are not using any carcinogenic raw materials in production. Our example accelerated the use of purified low-aromatic oils in tyre production in Europe.
In addition to low-aromatic mineral oils, we only use plant-based oils in our products. Rapeseed oil is a renewable raw material that we add to rubber compounds for improving the tear strength of winter tyres as well as grip on snow and ice. In summer tyres, we use pine tree oil for improving wear resistance. Rubber compounds may contain up to 20% of oils.
In addition to the rubber compounds, we use steel and textiles in tyre production as reinforcing materials. The rubber compounds contain filler substances for natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and oils, such as carbon black and silica as well as sulphur and various chemicals.
In our production, we never use raw materials that our laboratory has not approved. When we receive a raw material batch, we take a sample for a laboratory analysis, and we only use the batch in the production of rubber compounds after it has been approved by our laboratory.
In accordance with our purchasing policy, we purchase our raw materials from internationally reliable suppliers, and our product procurement process includes determining the suppliers’ commitment to environmental issues.
We recycle the packaging of all raw materials that we receive and, for example, we return some of the pallets to the suppliers for reuse.
The tyre choice matters
Tyre tests by motoring magazines thoroughly compare the different studded and non-studded winter tyres on the market and their performance on ice, snow and wet roads. Whether you are choosing winter or summer tyres, you should keep in mind the following:
As well as the overall score, pay attention to the subtests for different properties, such as ice grip, driving comfort or fuel economy.
Consider the other users of the car and their driving experience in addition to your own preferences when choosing new tyres. For improved safety, the tyres for a shared family car should be chosen to suit the least experienced driver.
Moreover, the tyre tests show how much the tyres on the market differ in terms of road safety. The difference in braking distance, for example, may be more than 20 metres between the best and poorest tyre in the test.
The costs of driving are another reason why tyre tests should be examined more closely, as rolling resistance amounts to approximately 20% of the vehicle’s fuel consumption. The lower the rolling resistance, the lower the fuel consumption. Despite the common misconception, usually winter tyres have lower rolling resistance than most summer tyres.
The tyre choice may also affect driving comfort. The softer rubber compound makes non-studded winter tyres quieter than studded winter tyres. However, modern stud technology has significantly reduced the noise of studded tyres.
Lower rolling resistance is good for the environment
The most significant environmental impacts during the use of a tyre are caused by the vehicle’s fuel consumption. Lower fuel consumption reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air. Tyres with low rolling resistance may save even more than 0.6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and reduce CO2 emissions by 14 g/km. In 2015, the proportion of our tyres with low rolling resistance that reduce fuel consumption was 85%.
One factor that affects the rolling resistance is the weight of the tyre. Lower tyre weight also reduces raw material and process energy consumption. Through determined, long-term product development, we have managed to further reduce the rolling resistance of our new products and create tyres that roll lighter than ever before.
Currently, passenger car winter tyres have lower average rolling resistance than summer tyres. We have achieved this by improving the tread patterns and surface rubber compounds. We continue our efforts on further reducing the rolling resistance of our tyres.
Nokian WR SUV 3: The EU tyre label’s best A rating now in a winter tyre
In autumn 2015, Nokian Tyres introduced in the Central European market the world’s first winter tyre that provides the best class A wet grip and fuel efficiency according to the EU tyre label. The Nokian WR SUV 3 (size 265/50 R19 V) is a winter tyre that can reduce the braking distance on a wet road up to 18 m and reduce fuel consumption by 0.6 I/100 km. The lightly rolling tyres also reduce CO2 emissions by 14 g/km.
The new tyre uses the Nokian Twin Trac SUV Silica rubber compound, which we have specifically adapted for SUV use, and the Nokian Aramid Sidewall technology. It offers the best snow and wet grip and fuel efficiency in the market, precise handling and excellent durability for the varying Central European winter conditions.
Quieter tyres improve road safety
While the reduction of road noise improves overall comfort, it also affects the driver’s alertness and thus road safety.
We work continuously on reducing tyre noise, and one of our goals in product development is designing quieter tyres. The surface patterns of our products feature several inventions that reduce noise, including the placement of tread blocks, protrusions in longitudinal grooves, and noise cavities.
Natural materials and eco-friendly products that reduce fuel consumption, harmful emissions, and rolling noise will also pave the way for us in the future.
Our products’ wear resistance is based on careful structural development and testing. Product testing in authentic environments and thoroughly understanding the winter and product characteristics are important for us. Our Ivalo Testing Center focuses on demanding winter testing from October to May. High-quality equipment, diverse tests, and competent product development teams and test drivers ensure that all of the extreme conditions of winter driving are explored in Ivalo.
At our test centre in Nokia, we test tyres from spring until late autumn. It provides unique conditions for slush-planing tests, for example, which we were the first in the world to introduce in 1996.
In order to obtain sufficient test results, we also test our tyres on international tracks. Additionally, our tyres are tested indoors using testing equipment that measures structural strength and high-speed endurance. We use repetitive tests for monitoring the flawlessness of the tyres and for ensuring the high quality and technical reliability of our products. In order to ensure comprehensive knowledge, we engage in testing co-operation with many of our customers in all product groups and we welcome customer observations. Close co-operation with leading car manufacturers ensures that the products optimise the use of state-of-the-art technology. The development process of an entirely new passenger car tyre takes 2 to 4 years.
Climate change introduces new requirements for winter tyres, which must ensure safe grip on snow and ice as well as on slush and wet roads. We take the challenges imposed by climate change into consideration in our design and testing operations.
Our group has not had any major product recalls in more than 15 years, which demonstrates our careful product testing, thorough quality control, and high-quality raw materials. Furthermore, our company has not been involved in any legal proceedings regarding product liability.
It’s all in the feel – you can only judge a tyre by driving on it
Even the best instruments cannot measure the driving feel of a tyre. Each year, Nokian Tyres’ test drivers cover hundreds of thousands of kilometres, feeling, sensing and evaluating. Once the vehicle has become part of the body, the test driver knows what a tyre feels like.
In addition to Finland, we perform tyre testing worldwide, on different roads and in rapidly changing weather. The world’s best test drivers, thorough testing and versatile testing equipment guarantee that our tyres will work in the best possible way under varying and even extreme conditions.
The Hakka Guarantee ensures that unexpected tyre damage does not end your trip
Our Nokian Hakka summer tyres provide optimal grip on the rough Northern roads in a range of temperatures from early spring until late autumn. Our unique Hakka concept includes the Hakka Guarantee and the related roadside assistance service, which provide more peace of mind for the Northern roads year-round.
The Hakka Guarantee is a unique service that we offer in connection with a new set of Nokian Hakka and Nokian Hakkapeliitta tyres: if a tyre that has been used appropriately becomes accidentally damaged beyond repair, we will replace it with a corresponding new product free of charge at a Nokian Tyres dealer, for example in Finland, Sweden, Norway, or Russia.
The Hakka Guarantee is valid for up to one year from the date of purchase or to a groove depth of 4 millimetres. The Hakka Guarantee includes a roadside assistance service which ensures that the customer will reach his or her destination even on the worst possible day. If the tyre is broken while on the road, a phone call is sufficient, and the roadside assistance service will be dispatched.
We also offer the Aramid Guarantee that covers accidental sidewall damage for the Nokian Line SUV, Nokian zLine SUV, Nokian WR SUV 3, Nokian Weatherproof SUV and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 SUV tyres, which use the Aramid Sidewall Technology. The consumer can have the damaged tyre replaced with a corresponding product at any dealer that participates in the Nokian Tyres Aramid Guarantee programme.
Tyre label for supporting the purchase decision
We actively follow the development of the environmental and safety regulations in Finland, the EU and Russia for anticipating the effects of pending legislation in our operations.
In Europe, tyres are ranked according to the EU tyre label on a scale from A to G. The green A is the best and the red G is the worst class. The label indicates how the tyre affects fuel efficiency and how it performs on wet roads. Furthermore, the external rolling noise of the tyre is displayed in decibels. In practice, moving from one class to a higher one means reducing the fuel consumption of the average passenger car by 2–3%. The EU tyre label’s ratings vary within the same range of tyres.
However, the tyre label does not take into account the actual winter conditions that are typical in the Nordic countries. The label applies to non-studded winter tyres but not to studded tyres. The only safety parameter indicated by the label is the wet grip of the tyre. Emphasising wet grip is well suited to the road conditions in Central Europe, but the most important safety characteristics in the demanding and varying Nordic winter conditions are grip on ice and snow. In this respect, the current tyre label may be misleading to consumers and endanger road safety.
There are significant differences between Nordic and Central European non-studded winter tyres. Comparison tests by Nokian Tyres have demonstrated that the braking distance at 50 km/h is 60 metres with Nordic winter tyres but 78 metres with Central European winter tyres. You cannot tell by looking at a non-studded winter tyre whether it provides sufficient grip on ice. Already in 2013, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland proposed a snow and ice grip label that would help consumers choose the right tyre for their needs and road conditions. As pioneers in safety, we aim to achieve a requirement for presenting verifiable data on the winter grip properties of approved winter tyres. An ice grip label would help consumers choose suitable tyres and improve road safety especially in the Nordic countries.
Although the tyre label makes it easier to compare different tyre models, it is best to support the decision by consulting professional tyre dealers, independent tests by magazines and tyre manufacturers. The most important aspect in terms of consumer safety is to buy the correct tyres for the given driving conditions.
EU tyre label testing
As of November 2012, consumers who are purchasing new tyres at a dealer have been able to see the mandatory EU tyre label on the tyre tread or next to the tyre when making a purchase decision. Tyre manufacturers also publish the information of the label on their websites and in their technical marketing materials, for example.
The tyre label shows a product’s fuel economy, wet grip and external rolling noise classes. The EU tyre label regulation requires each manufacturer to test its tyres with the specified, internationally standardised testing methods and determine the classes for each product based on the test results. The manufacturer is not required to test every single product. Instead, it can group the products according to their characteristics, as necessary. Moreover, the regulation requires EU member states to conduct national market surveillance and provides instructions on verification testing. The European Commission has been assigned with coordinating national market supervision by the member states for achieving higher benefits throughout the EU.
In order to keep the fuel economy ratings as comparable as possible, the underlying rolling resistance testing may only be conducted with equipment harmonised with a European reference machine. The European Commission coordinates this extensive, international harmonisation process. All Nokian Tyres’ rolling resistance test machines have been harmonised with the EU system.
New eco-friendly tyres
A good tyre is much more than just a hunk of rubber. It is a product of high technology that is produced with precision as the result of careful development work and comprehensive testing. The production of a reliable tyre involves chemical and technical competence, high-quality raw materials and structural solutions, and thorough testing.
The optimised structure and advanced raw material design improve the eco-friendly properties of modern winter tyres.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 and Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 combines excellent winter safety with low road wear, which is important for the environment. This is made possible by our proprietary Nokian Eco Stud 8 concept which ensures that the tyre reduces road wear while providing even safer winter grip properties. When the studs are properly cushioned, the road wear impact of the tyre is considerably lower than the limit defined in the Nordic stud legislation, the studs are more durable and the tyre noise is quieter.
The modern stud technology optimises winter grip and eco-friendly properties, and it enabled us to increase the number of studs in the tyre. While the tyre is easier on the road surface, it has, on average, 50% more studs when compared to previous generation tyres. Furthermore, the symmetric tread pattern and unique innovations of the tyre reduce the tyre noise.
Developed for SUVs, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta SUV 8 is the result of careful product development over the course of nearly four years. As a result of determined testing in our testing centres in Ivalo and Nokia, the Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV can bear and manage its high wheel loads in a stable and confident fashion on icy, snowy, slushy and dry roads. Additional challenges for drivers are posed by freezing ground, which damages roads and makes them uneven, and the sharp edges of the kerb.
According to studies, SUV tyres are most often damaged by impacts to the tyre sidewall. The studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV as well as several others of our SUV products maximise the impact and cut protection with the Nokian Tyres Aramid Sidewall technology. The sidewall compound contains the extremely strong aramid staple fibre and provides exceptional protection against wear and cuts. The same material is utilised by the aerospace and defence industries. The aramid fibre stiffens and reinforces the sidewall to even better withstand external impacts and pressing against the wheel flange.
Nokian Hakka – cool performance
In the north, the summer is a time of surprising changes in the weather. For this reason, we developed the Nokian Hakka summer tyres. Uneven and rough road surfaces as well as rapidly changing weather conditions are typical of the North, and they require special features from a tyre. We have developed the rubber compounds and tyre structures for our Hakka summer tyres for the demanding and varying summer conditions. Our Hakka summer tyres perform predictably across a wide temperature range and they have a high tolerance for wear and the occasionally poor road conditions.
The newest member of the Hakka summer tyre range, the Nokian Hakka Green 2, has the EU tyre label’s best class A rolling resistance rating in various sizes.
The Nokian Hakka summer tyres are also covered by the Nokian Tyres Satisfaction Promise. If you are not satisfied with your Nokian Hakka summer tyres, you can exchange them for another set. Read more!
Respecting the fields and forests
Nokian Heavy Tyres, which is part of the Nokian Tyres group, is one of the most well-known and successful manufacturers of special tyres in the world. Our unit designs, develops, and manufactures high-quality and eco-friendly tyres and retreading materials for the industry, heavy truck and trailer combinations, lorries, and buses. Our product range also includes special tyres that are designed for agriculture, earthmoving, road maintenance, military vehicles, ports, and the mining industry. Nokian Heavy Tyres is a market leader in forestry tyres.
The rubber compounds, tread patterns, and structures of the Nokian special tyres are designed to withstand heavy-duty use, which ensures more operating hours and reliable functionality under all conditions. Our thorough field testing and research guarantee the desired properties of the tyres. The eco-friendliness and high quality of raw materials are also essential in the manufacture of all heavy tyres.
An incredible tractor world speed record – 130.165 km/h!
The two professionals in the Northern conditions, Nokian Tyres and Valtra, joined forces to set the new tractor world speed record. The record attempt took place on a snowy and icy road in Finnish Lapland on 19 February 2015. At the wheel of the tractor was the multiple Rally World Champion Juha Kankkunen. The new world record is 130.165 km/h (80.88 mph). The record speed was set with the world’s first winter tyre for tractors, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI (440/80R28 151D & 540/80R38 167D), and the Valtra T234 tractor.
Nokian Tyres extended its comprehensive winter tyre range to tractors with the launch of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI. Its unique tread model, winter rubber compound and sipes are designed to maximise grip and effective performance. The diagonal sipes in the tread blocks ensure a high number of gripping edges and improve traction in the rolling and lateral directions.
Testing under extreme conditions is at the core of our operations, and it requires unique expertise. Such high speeds on winter roads demand tyres that provide uncompromising stability, grip and handling. These are exactly the characteristics that we focused on in the development of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI.
Safe driving with articulated vehicles
The Nokian truck tyres and the Nokian Noktop retreading materials are designed for demanding professional use under varying conditions. All Hakkapeliitta and Hakka truck tyres have an official winter tyre marking, which makes it easier to choose a tyre for the Northern conditions. For example, there are very few trailer tyres on the market that would meet the requirements of winter conditions.
We are actively involved in the improvement of heavy vehicle safety and the reduction of their environmental impact. We work closely and in strict confidentiality with bus and transport companies in order to enable effective product development. In Ivalo, for example, we have arranged an event for testing the behaviour of new winter tyres and new All Season tyres, which are typically used in Central Europe, and comparing their performance under winter conditions.
Based on the test results, the difference between the winter tyres and All Season tyres was more than 20 per cent in favour of the winter tyres in terms of both braking distance and acceleration. Due to the heavy loads, trailers account for most of the rolling resistance in full trailer trucks. Research has showed that the right choice of tyres can keep the rolling resistance low and significantly reduce the swinging of the trailer. We immediately applied these results to our tyre recommendations.
However, under Northern conditions, simply minimising rolling resistance is not the solution in terms of safety. Rather, choosing the right tyres for the entire truck and trailer combination has a significant impact on winter road safety. The right choice of tyres and retreading materials can achieve the best solution in terms of both economy and safety.
Nokian Hakka Truck Drive receives German innovation award
At the end of 2015, Nokian Hakka Truck Drive won the German innovation award “Innovation des Jahres 2016” in a vote by the readers of the Busplaner magazine. The award was given at Busworld, Europe’s largest bus and coach exhibition held in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Nokian Hakka Truck Drive received 43% of the votes. One of the reasons was the V-shaped tread pattern that improves the self-cleaning properties of the tyre, thereby preventing the accumulation of slush and snow in the grooves.
The Nokian Hakka Truck Drive is an all-season drive-axle tyre for cargo and bus traffic, tailored for long and medium haul use in the varying Central European and Nordic conditions. The tyre offers excellent wear resistance, grip and stability without any compromises.
Nokian Noktop rolls lightly
The Nokian Noktop retreading materials are exported to approximately 20 countries around the world. All in all, our portfolio includes 25 different Nokian Noktop treads and, considering the different width, there are more than one hundred different products. We have an industry-leading portfolio especially in terms of winter products.
Our production technology considers nature and environmental values, minimising the direct and indirect environmental impact in the manufacture of Nokian Noktop materials. Retreading tyres is in itself an eco-friendly measure. The CO2 emissions of retreading a tyre are significantly lower compared to producing a new tyre. In addition, the Nokian Noktop production process meets the requirements of the ISO 14001 environmental standard.
Retreading reduces both costs and the environmental impacts. Even though the times are changing, it is still relevant to companies looking for cost savings.
Nokian Noktop: 40 years of the best retreading materials
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Nokian Noktop retreading materials. The story of Nokian Noktop started in the 1970s when a new retreading method, cold process retreading, became more common around the world, including in Finland. The new technology also attracted the interest of Nokia Ab Kumitehdas, the company known today as Nokian Tyres.
The Nokian Noktop brand was created as the result of a name contest for company employees. The name combines references to “Nokia Kumitehdas” and its expertise as well as the tyre’s tread and high quality. Nokian Tyres started its cold process retreading business under its own brand in 1975. This is also where the history of the Nokian Noktop product line begins.
Through determined communication and advertising campaigns by the tyre industry, end users soon understood that the best way to cut tyre costs was taking care of the tyre body. Now, a tyre with worn tread was no longer considered waste but rather an asset with utility value.
Professional drivers require a specialised service
Availability is key when providing service for heavy equipment and professional drivers. The majority of Finnish Vianor outlets offer heavy equipment service. The turnaround time is also essential for professionals. In Finland, Vianor provides a national on-call service 24/7.
Retreading heavy tyres reduces raw material consumption, and it is an economically responsible practice. Vianor has six retreading plants in the Nordic countries: three in Finland, one in Sweden and two smaller plants in Norway.
Service outlets take the tyre bodies to retreading, and the retreaded tyres are reinstalled by the same outlet: Vianor’s process ensures that the same tyre bodies are returned to the customer, retreaded as requested.