Fate distributing Cooper tyres in Argentina – production, research collaboration may follow
The signing of a letter of intent between Cooper Tire & Rubber and Argentine tyre maker Fate SAICI opens the door to a number of cooperative possibilities, including joint research and development and the offtake production of Cooper tyres in Argentina. Initially, however, the two companies’ work together involves Fate serving as a distributor of Cooper-branded passenger car, light commercial vehicle and SUV tyres in Argentina alongside its own tyre portfolio.
“Cooper is pleased to align with Fate, a highly respected and quality-focused tyre company with extensive reach in Argentina and throughout South America, as we continue to move forward with our strategic plan to grow our business in Latin America,” said Cooper Tire chief operating officer Brad Hughes.
Fate currently manufactures car, light truck, SUV and truck and bus radial tyres at its 5 million tyre a year facility in San Fernando, Argentina, a factory Cooper Tire describes as being the “largest and most modern tyre production facility” in that nation. “Fate is enthusiastic about the foreseen cooperation by complementing our already extensive portfolio of car, light-truck and SUV tyres with Cooper’s valuable range of products and its highly respected brand as it will have a positive impact on our sales network while further enhancing Fate’s industrial growth strategy,” commented Fate commercial manager Miguel Canay.
Cooper foresees that the two companies’ joint work could develop “over time” to cover joint work on “a variety of potential cooperative ventures” including tyre production, offtake arrangements, and possible cooperation on research and development activities. Should the relationship develop in this direction Fate will, at any rate, be able to draw upon prior experience in working together with a globally-active tyre maker. The firm entered into a technical and commercial exchange agreement with Continental in 1998, and in addition to distributing Continental tyres produced in Europe and North America it produced Continental tyres for the Argentine market under licence, beginning in 1999. The agreement to produce Continental tyres ended in July 2008. Fate also planned to build a factory together with part owner and Brazilian market distributor Vipal, and signed a memorandum of understanding to this end in 2010, however plans for building a facility in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state were put on hold during 2012.