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Cooper aims to slash new tire introduction time

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"One of our goals is to have new products account for 25% of our sales," says Cooper Tire President Dick Stephens.

To help achieve that, Cooper plans to cut new tire introduction time -- "from conception to production" -- down to six months.

"Right now, the benchmark for the industry is 18 to 24 months," says a Cooper spokesperson.

The initiative, known within Cooper as CP6, coincides with the roll-out of the company's internal P3 ("Passion, precision and performance') campaign, which will celebrate its technology.

"In the past, we've been relatively quiet about our technology," says Stephens.

The campaign will eventually target Cooper dealers; there are no plans to take it to consumers at the moment.

Cooper formally unveiled its Zeon line of performance tires last week at its test track in Pearsall, Texas.

"We've done an awful lot in a remarkably short period of time" in terms of high performance techonology and product development, says the Cooper spokesperson.

Cooper's CP6 initiative will apply to all tires within the company's line-up, not just performance or ultra-high performance products.

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