Cooper plant capacity study could result in 'restructuring'
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will conduct a capacity study of its United States manufacturing plants over the next 90 days that will "likely result in restructuring, including capacity consolidation and geographical shifts to production," say company officials.
"The study will determine how to optimize manufacturing capacity in relation to developing market and customer needs."
The initiative represents an evolution of Cooper's Strategic Plan, which was announced eight months ago. All of the Findlay, Ohio-based tiremaker's U.S. plants "are included for review and will be analyzed based on a combination of factors, including long-term financial benefits, labor relations and productivity."
Cooper CEO Roy Armes says the study "will likely result in difficult decisions, but is a significant step toward our attainment" of goals outlines in Cooper's Strategic Plan. "In the end, this will benefit Cooper's stakeholders and ultimately position us as a stronger company.
"Economic conditions, including demand for replacement tires, are certainly more difficult than when we initially developed the plan, and this has resulted in surplus capacity in our U.S. facilities. Unfortunately, this type of action has become a necessity."