Goodyear Dunlop has opened a new winter tyre testing facility, the Arctic Centre, in Ivalo, Finland. Located 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, near the town of Ivalo in North Eastern Finland, the Arctic Centre is one of Europe’s leading winter tyre testing centres, and as of December 2014, will be exclusively used by Goodyear Dunlop.
Jean-Pierre Jeusette, general director of Goodyear’s Innovation Centre, Laurent Colantonio, director of global tyre performance prediction and, representing the company‘s Nordic Region, Ludvig Nauckhoff, general manager Nordic were present as the ribbon was cut.
Located in a valley with its own microclimate suited to snow and ice testing between November and early April, the track is leased from Action Park, based in Finland, and Goodyear will hold exclusive access to the track for the foreseeable future. The Arctic Centre’s infrastructure includes several snow and ice test lanes and tracks, offices equipped with modern IT infrastructure and several garages to maintain test vehicles and prepare test tyres. The area is fenced-in, providing security and confidentiality for testing on prototype tyres and new innovative winter tyre technology.
“We are very excited about the launch of the Arctic Centre. Having the possibility to work in ideal ice and snow conditions is a true asset. By definition, snow sciences cannot be studied nor put into practice in an office as they require field experience; that is the condition to deploy state-of-the art tyre technology”, explains Jeusette.
Outside its facility in Finland, Goodyear Dunlop also tests all its winter tyres on tracks in France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and New Zealand. The geographical range of the centres allows for year-long testing that can be run on very different snow structures. The Arctic Centre will further expand these testing capabilities and confirms the company’s commitment to excellence in winter tyre testing and bringing a quality winter tyre to the market that exceeds expectations.
The facility has recently been used to test the new UltraGrip 9 winter tyre, launched by Goodyear in September of this year. The tyre’s recognized snow capabilities were tested and improved, in part, at the Ivalo Arctic Centre.
Colantonio is satisfied with the agreement. “The Arctic Centre’s infrastructure and winter tyre test experience will further enhance Goodyear Dunlop’s capability and capacity in winter tyre testing for both consumer and truck tyres. We will be able to use a customized snow and ice facility supporting the development of new winter tyre products and concepts in the future.”