Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s passenger and truck tire plant in Rongcheng, China, remains unmanned following a work stoppage that begin in July. The stoppage coincided with the announcement that Apollo Tyres Ltd. had purchased the Findlay, Ohio-based company.
"Cooper is currently experiencing a temporary work stoppage at our plant in Rongcheng, China," says Anne Roman, vice president of communications and public affairs for Cooper. "All other Cooper facilities in China, and throughout the rest of the world, continue to operate as normal.
"Cooper is in communication with customers as appropriate regarding product supply. The company is continuing to work toward getting the plant operating again as soon as possible. The transaction between Cooper and Apollo is on track and expected to close by the end of this year.
"This issue is not expected to have an impact on the pending merger," says Roman. "The agreement with Apollo will benefit all of Cooper -- including those at the Rongcheng plant -- as it will bring together two companies with highly complementary brands, geographic presence and technological expertise."
According to The Courier in Findlay, "workers at the (Chinese) plant are on strike to protest Apollo Tyres' proposed acquisition of Cooper." They "are skeptical of the financial underpinnings of Apollo's proposed $2.5 billion acquisition."
The seven-year-old Rongcheng plant, located in China's Shandong Province, is a joint venture between Cooper (the majority owner at 65%) and Shandong Chengshan Group Co. Ltd. It is run as Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.