16 February 1998

Nokian to outsource ag tires (Tire Business)

BUCHAREST, Romania--Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has picked Romanian tire producer S.C. Tofan Grup S.A. to make a range of its agricultural and industrial tires in Romania.

The long-term cooperation agreement covers $6 million to $8 million worth of products, Nokian said, and will allow the Finnish company to focus its resources on higher-value premium products in its forestry, mining and related segments.

Tofan Grup controls Romania's three largest tire producers: Danubiana S.A., Victoria S.A., and Silvania S.A. Tofan also manufactures farm/implement tires for Titan Tire Corp.

Nokian plans Russian venture

NOKIA, Finland--Nokian Tyres P.L.C. and Russia's largest tire and rubber company, Group Rosshina Ltd., have signed a letter of intent to establish a joint-venture tire plant in Yaroslavl, Russia, site of Rosshina's existing Yaroslavl Tyre Plant P.L.C. unit.

The proposed tire plant would have capacity for 1.5 million passenger tires initially, according to Nokian President Lasse Kurkilahti. Other tire types could follow later. Rosshina controls an extensive tire distribution network in addition to owning shares of five tire and rubber plants, Mr. Kurkilahti said.

Yaroslavl Tyre Plant P.L.C., located about 150 miles northeast of Moscow, is Russia's second-largest tire manufacturer, Nokian said, with annual production of 4 million car and truck/bus tires. Rosshina's annual tire sales total $360 million.

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