Cooper plans more Chinese production, says Armes

May 2, 2007

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will continue to ramp up its production efforts in Asia, Cooper CEO and President Roy Armes told investors earlier today, May 2, during a conference call.

Armes said the joint venture between Cooper and Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. will build "just under" one million tires this year.

The Cooper-Kenda plant in Kunshan, China, "will be a world-class facility."

The factory will eventually have the capacity to manufacture 10 million to 12 million tires, which will be exported to North America and Europe, annually.

Armes also told investors that Cooper plans to boost capacity at its Chengshan facility to two million tires by the end of 2007.

"We're selling all the tires we can make at Cooper-Chengshan."

Cooper's overall volume coming out of China is exceeding the Findlay, Ohio-based tiremaker's expectations, he added.