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Cooper signs outsourcing agreement with Chinese tiremaker

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has signed a deal with Chinese tiremaker Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. that will see Hangzhou supply one million radial passenger tires a year to Cooper for sale in the United States.

Production consists of an entry level line offered in six sizes under the Cooper, Mastercraft, Dean and Starfire brand names.

The agreement "will help us meet our growing demand," says Dick Stephens, president of Cooper's Tire Group.

"Our ultra-high performance initiative has resulted in a steadily increasing demand for the Cooper Zeon performance lines. By outsourcing some of our broadline products, we can devote more production capacity to the more exotic performance tires."

The deal with Hangzhou "wil help fill in the gap between our capacity and projected demand."

Last October, Cooper announced it had reached a radial medium truck tire production agreement with Hangzhou.

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