Considering the product was launched in 2019 and is a newcomer to the market, we wanted to find out more about the pan-European feedback to the product. Pierre Choubert, who is responsible for a variety of markets across Europe, emphasised the positive nature of the feedback.
“We have had really good feedback on the Nokian Ground King. It is a hybrid tyre, and the results have been really, really good. Across all Central Europe, we have had really good feedback from the field. We are growing a lot with this tyre, and it is a really good concept for the future.
“It really is a positive point for Nokian Tyres that we can launch these types of innovative products.”
Choubert proceeded to clarify the key role that the research & development department played in the Nokian Ground King’s success. According to Choubert, in contrast to some of the other manufacturers, Nokian Tyres spends more time in developing new tyres and is unable to bring products to market at the same speed as some of the other market players.
“We can’t launch a tyre in 6 months. We started to make the first prototype of Nokian Ground King four and a half years ago, and we launched the tyre one year ago. We focus in developing premium tyres, and therefore we have a thorough product development process in Nokian Tyres.
“Additionally, we have to make many tests before we launch the high-quality tyre."
It’s clear to see that the extensive testing and investment in research and development has allowed Nokian Tyres to reap the rewards from the Nokian Ground King, allowing it to become a leading product.
Saari reinforced this by commenting, “We see that investments in modern technology in research and development and manufacturing are taking us further and strengthening our strategic capabilities. However, in the end it boils down to our products being built on an understanding of what different end users value and need from their tyres, and doing that well by making the right technological choices and being innovative in what we do.”
As for new products? Saari stressed that although many new products are in the pipeline, the company is not at the stage of being able to discuss those developments just yet.