Work resumes at Cooper Chengshan, production of non-Cooper brands underway
A spokesperson from Cooper Tire & Rubber’s head office in the US has confirmed to Tyres & Accessories that the Cooper Chengshan joint venture plant, which has now resumed production following strike action, is not manufacturing any Cooper-branded products at the present time; the tyres currently produced at the Rongcheng facility are exclusively other-branded products.
It appears this arrangement is not based upon instructions from Cooper Tire; the spokesperson shared that “Cooper continues to work toward getting the plant operating fully again as soon as possible, including the production of all tyre brands.” She added that the tyre maker intends to continue its communications with the 5,000 Cooper Chengshan workers and their representatives and described the plant’s workforce as “an important part of our company’s success over the past seven years.”
Confirmation was also given that the Apollo-Cooper deal remains on track and the objections plant workers may still have to the Indian firm’s US$2.5 billion purchase of Cooper Tire & Rubber aren’t expected to have an impact on the transaction. “Apollo and Cooper are both strong, well-managed businesses,” the spokesperson added. “The pending merger will create the scale, resources and capacity for the combined company to excel in the world’s biggest tyre market of North America, as well as fast growing markets such as China.”