Cooper to Conduct US Capacity Study
On October 21 Cooper Tire & Rubber announced plans to conduct a capacity study of its United States manufacturing facilities over the following ninety days. The study will determine how to optimise manufacturing capacity in relation to developing market and customer needs, and the company says it will likely result in restructuring, including capacity consolidation or geographical shifts to production.
This is, says Cooper, an evolution of the Strategic Plan it outlined in February 2008. All of the company’s US manufacturing facilities are included for review and will be analysed based on a combination of factors, including long-term financial benefits, labour relations and productivity.
“We are committed to realising the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan to create a sustainable, competitive position in the markets we serve,” said Cooper CEO Roy Armes. “This study will likely result in difficult decisions, but is a significant step toward our attainment of those goals. In the end this will benefit Cooper’s stakeholders and ultimately position us as a stronger company.
“Economic conditions, including demand for replacement tyres, are certainly more difficult than when we initially developed the plan, and this has resulted in surplus capacity in our US facilities,” he added. “Unfortunately, this type of action has become a necessity. In announcing the study, we have launched a transparent process and will communicate openly with those who may be affected in either manufacturing or administrative positions.
Our company has significant liquidity resources available during these challenging economic times, and we believe that we will emerge from this process stronger and more competitive.”