The county’s car test companies are shifting up a gear.

Northern Sweden provides unique surroundings for the world’s big car and tyre manufacturers for testing their products under demanding conditions There is plenty of desirable cold, snow and above all isolation. New products are well-kept trade secrets and Norrbottens huge fenced-off test installations guarantee privacy.

Car test operations are a constantly growing business. Growth among the county’s car test companies is on average 15-25 per cent per annum and in 2009 operations achieved sales in excess of EUR 80 million. About 2,000 people gain their livelihood directly from car test operations, which are concentrated to Arjeplog, Arvidsjaur, Jokkmokk and Älvsby municipalities.

Somewhere in the vicinity of Vidsel the company Arctic Falls runs a number of test facilities for tyres and automobiles. The company has been around since the middle of the 1980s, but entered new ownership in 2007. During 2009 the company had sales of EUR 2,8 million and employed 37 people.

“Test activities were not hit in the same way as new car production during the recession. We are seeing safe, stable growth in test operations which during the two seasons we have run the company have increased by around 15 per cent per year. In 2009 we invested close to EUR 3 million in the business. The signals we´re getting from the market are positive so we can see a potential for further investments in the future,” says Arctic Falls CEO Jonas Jalar.