Nokian Tyres admitted on Friday to having supplied modified products to organisations conducting tyre tests for several years. Ari Lehtoranta, the chief executive officer at Nokian Tyres, has taken to social media to re-affirm his confidence in the future after the tyre manufacturer admitted to supplying car magazines and other organisations conducting tyre tests with modified tyres.

“My worst day ever yesterday. Still, I am proud we came out. Complete picture will start forming [and I] am sure we come out as a finer company,” he stated on Twitter.

Nokian Tyres admitted to discrepancies in its test practices after Kauppalehti reported on Friday – citing internal e-mails and sources within the company – that the tyre manufacturer has manipulated tyre tests for several years. The modified tyres were of such a high quality that their commercial production would not have been economically viable, according to the business-oriented newspaper.

“We wanted to bring up tyre testing in car media ourselves, as we have been increasing the transparency and ethicality of our operations on all levels,” Lehtoranta says in a press release. “In past years, when the test organisations asked manufacturers to send them tyres for the tests, activities in the industry were dubious. Major test organisations have now for years acquired the tyres from tyre stores, and also make control tests to the tyres afterwards.”

“We apologise and regret the mistakes we have made in the past,” he adds.

He also points out that the updated test guidelines of Nokian Tyres unequivocally prohibit the design and production of tyres specifically for testing.

The revelation has also sparked a debate about the bonuses and rewards enjoyed by business executives in Finland due to allegations that the main motivation for the tyre manufacturer to pursue stronger test scores with any means possible was its bonus and stock option scheme.

The traditional tyre manufacturer has denied the allegations.

“The Board of Nokian Tyres has never decided on […] stock option schemes that would have encouraged cheating in tests, unlike what has been implied in the media,” states Lehtoranta.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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