Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. dedicated its new Asia Technical Center (ATC) in Kunshan, China, on June 12. The facility is also the site of the company’s Cooper Kunshan Tire (CKT) manufacturing plant, about 30 miles from Shanghai.
The company says the ATC was relocated to Kunshan from Shanghai to a new facility constructed specifically for Cooper’s research and development activities and staff of 65 material scientists and tire engineers.
The ATC will design and develop new passenger and truck tires primarily for China and the Asia market. It is one of four technical centers which Cooper operates on three continents.
“The new Asia Technical Center is a key investment to support our growth in China and throughout Asia,” says Allen Tsaur, vice president and general manager of Cooper Asia.
“Our two strategic focus areas for Asia are passenger/truck tire growth and continued expansion of our successful work within the original equipment (OE) market.”
Since 2007, Cooper has continued to improve its technical capabilities, placing a strong emphasis on speed to market and the launch of exceptional products, according to Chuck Yurkovich, vice president, global research and development.
“We develop ‘ready-to-use’ advanced technology that we call upon when needed to introduce new products around the world, and we also pursue select innovative technology to achieve a competitive advantage through developing new and enhanced tire and materials technology,” he says.
“Cooper leverages this technology globally, and designs, builds and tests tires at technical centers in Asia, Europe and North America to enable us to provide superior customer value by tailoring products to meet the needs of customers region by region.”
The ATC is managed by Gavin Edwards. Locating the new ATC on the grounds of the CKT manufacturing plant offers many advantages including speed, according to Edwards.
“With a plant nearby, we have the opportunity to test and interact with the people and equipment that actually produces our tires. It allows us to respond quickly to all of our customers, particularly OE vehicle manufacturers, which have high levels of technical demands, as we evolve to create and manufacture the best tires for drivers in China and throughout Asia.”
For more information, visit www.coopertire.com.
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.