Finnish tire firm Nokian Tyres sold the same products under different names and at different prices, according to an investigation by the Tampere newspaper Aamulehti. The firm itself denied misleading consumers.
The paper obtained manufacturing recipes for the period 2010-2013 showing that tyres produced for the Nordic markets and for continental Europe were the same product. The recipes originate from the Nokian Tyres factory in Vsevolozhsk, Russia.
The tyres with the same finish were hundreds of euros more expensive in Finland than they were in other European markets.
In the Nordic countries the firm marketed the Nokian Hakka Black tyre as designed for the local conditions. In Europe the same product was sold as the Nokian zLine tyre.
The company told Aamulehti that the rubber blend used in the Nordic tyres was also in those sent to Europe, but the recipes obtained by the paper were changed two years ago.
Former workers at the plant in Russia who left to found their own research and development company are currently awaiting trial on charges of corporate espionage. The trial is expected to begin in January 2017.
In February it was reported that the company had manipulated test results in motoring media by sending enhanced test versions of their products to be tested.