Cooper pleased with HP, UHP market share gains

Oct. 21, 2004

"We gained market share in virtually every light vehicle category, with the exception of broad-line tires," during the third quarter, according to Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Chairman, CEO and President Tom Dattilo.

"We´re having success in those areas where we´re trying to grow the most," including high performance and ultra-high performance, he says.

"Broad-line tires are still the largest part of the market. It´s just a declining larger part of the market."

Bringing more broad-line tires in from China will allow Cooper to concentrate on building high performance and ultra-high performance tires, says Dattilo.

"We will never make every broad-line tire outside the United States, but we will make a lot of the economy products in China."

In the U.S., "as we add more high performance and ultra-high performance product, we may have to add more specialized equipment" to plants.

Expansion efforts at Cooper´s Findlay, Ohio, and Tupelo, Miss., factories "are largely complete" and are underway at the company´s other manufacturing facilities, says Dattilo.

Cooper achieved net income of $9.8 million on record net sales of $551 million for the third quarter. That compares to income of $17.7 million on sales of $519 million for the same period in 2003.

Cooper has designated both its tube operations and Cooper-Standard Automotive Group as "discontinued." On Sept. 8, Cooper announced it will exit the tube business, and on Sept. 17 revealed that it is selling Cooper-Standard to an entity formed by The Cypress Group and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

The Cooper-Standard sales is expected to close during the fourth quarter, according to Dattilo.