Cooper: Chengshan tyre plant fire caused ‘minimal damage’

Cooper Tire executives have confirmed that reports of a fire at the company’s Cooper Chengshan (Shandong)Tire Company Ltd. (CCT) manufacturing plant in Rongcheng, China were correct. As far as the details are concerned, writing in an official statement Cooper Tire officials confirmed that the fire took place on 28 May outside of the factory site proper. According to the company, there were no injuries and “minimal damage to property”.

At the time photographs of the fire were published alongside local Chinese reports, however these provided no details of what damage the fire caused or where it actually took place. Cooper has now explained that “the fire involved a scrap tyre area outside the main manufacturing plant structure”. As a result production was temporarily suspended. It has now returned to normal.

In its latest financial results, Cooper reported that it is plans to drive sales growth in China by increasing the pace of new product introductions and significantly expanding points of distribution. The firm also alluded to the ongoing valuation process going on with the CCT subsidiary, which will ultimately determine the future of this part of the business following the collapsed merger with Apollo Tyres.

Regarding its Chinese strategy, the US-based manufacturer plans to grow its already established OE business in China as it is key to driving consumer replacement tire pull-through in the region. Cooper is committed to growing its presence in China regardless of the ultimate outcome of CCT ownership, although this may have an impact on the specific plans and timing related to financial targets.

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