Staff at Cooper Tire’s UK headquarters in Melksham raised more than £4,000 for the Help for Heroes charity last month with a festive raffle. The raffle, organised by HR officer Steve Forbes and Unite representative Steve Saunders, took place on 23 December and raised £2,052.03 for the forces charity. That amount was matched by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe, to bring the total to £4,104.06.
The management of Cooper Tire Europe has offered “its sincere apologies to anyone who was affected”, after a camera was found in the men’s toilet by employees. The Wiltshire Times reports that the camera “was installed by a maintenance contractor at the request of a Cooper Tires manager,” who suspected employees of substance abuse. The Unite Union representative John McGookin told the paper that he has discussed the incident with company management, saying, “This was somebody’s misguided approach to a concern. It’s something we have asked that the company ensures does not happen again.”
A Cooper statement said that, “Following an extensive, independent investigation into the discovery of a camera in a toilet, it has been established that:-
1. Although there was suspicion of substance abuse on site, the decision to position a camera in a toilet was unacceptable
2. The company has a policy to deal with suspected substance abuse and this was not followed
3. The camera equipment was not made operational
4. Although the motives were genuine, as the company treats substance abuse seriously, this was a major error of judgement and therefore disciplinary action has been taken against those responsible
5. Procedures are being changed to ensure that such an incident cannot be repeated in future”
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe has released a statement announcing its plan to cut 30-50 jobs at its Melksham, Wiltshire plant, amounting to around 4 per cent of the company’s workers there. The manufacturer will invite its 1,000 employees at the site to apply for voluntary redundancy throughout May. The statement cites the reduction of costs necessary to remain competitive within its markets as the reason for the cuts.
Cooper Tire has launched a new ultra-high performance tyre which, the company claims, offers all the performance of the Zeon range, but with the addition of much improved tread life. The new Cooper Zeon CS6 replaces the Cooper Zeon XTC V and W-rated sizes. The enhanced tyre tread life comes by virtue of a new silica tread compound which, thanks to the latest in computer-aided design technology, offers enhanced grip in wet weather braking and handling situations, but also features up to 12 per cent longer tread wear than the XTC.
The CS6 will be available in sizes ranging from 15 to 18 inch rim diameters, and more high-speed ratings than its predecessor, including V, W and Y ratings. The CS6’s new up-rated tyre construction means the CS6 is lighter than its predecessor, and features lower rolling resistance, which offers energy and money saving benefits to consumers.
Cooper Tire Europe has suspended production at its Melksham, UK production plant. According to a company spokesman production and closed for a week in order to reduce stocks. However, a BBC news report added that the move would also “help safeguard its future.” There is apparently no threat to jobs at the plant which employs 1100 people. Production is expected to return to normal next week.
A number of tyre manufacturers have filed a lawsuit against chemical producers alleged to be members of a cartel operating in the late 1990s and early this decade. According to a report published by Czech Republic newspaper the Prague Daily Monitor, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe Limited and 25 other plaintiffs filed the UK based lawsuit with the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, on February 22. The 26 plaintiffs are said to be seeking an unspecified amount of compensation from 23 companies.
One of defendants, Czech group Unipetrol, received notification of the lawsuit in late May. Speaking to the Prague Daily Monitor, a company spokeswoman, Blanka Ruzickova, said: “It is now being analysed by our lawyers, but it is sure that we are going to defend ourselves. The lawsuit is based on an accusation of a cartel agreement that we rejected already two years ago and that we still reject.”
Cooper Tire & Rubber Europe has announced two new appointments to its UK team. Brian Sprott, an 18-year company veteran, is to take on the role of UK sales manager for Retail Accounts. In this position, Mr. Sprott will report to Steve Cundy, European Business Development Director.
Before this latest appointment Sprott has held several different sales and management roles within the UK sales team, including divisional sales manager and UK retail manager – West. During his time at Cooper Tire Europe he has also acquired his Diploma in Management Studies, in 2002.
Steve Cundy, European Business Development Director, has been named the new head of Cooper Tire’s UK passenger car sales team. Cundy, a veteran of 36 years, first with Avon Tyres and then with Cooper Tire Europe, will have overall responsibility for Avon and Cooper brand replacement tyre sales for the sector. The new role will be in addition to Steve’s existing European Business Development, OE and Private Brand responsibilities.
Two other long-serving Cooper men will report directly to Steve Cundy in his new role. They are National Accounts Director, Ian Daniels, who has been with the company for 19 years, and Jason Clarke, UK Sales Manager for Regional Accounts, who has notched up nine years of service.
Cooper’s National Accounts team will also receive some new blood in the shape of James Steventon and Adrian Aynsley, who have joined as National Accounts Managers.
The tireless work of motorsport marshals, the unpaid and often unsung behind the scenes workers at motor racing events, has been acknowledged by Avon tyres and MotorSport Vision Racing. Marshals in possession of a MSVR membership card are now entitled to a 15 per cent discount on any new set of Avon Tyres purchased from a National Tyres outlet. Discounts on other services offered by National Tyres are also available as part of the programme.
“Those of us lucky enough to race cars are indebted to the unpaid work these people do,” explained Julian Baldwin, managing director of Cooper Tire Europe and head of Avon Tyres motorsport. “Not only are they on hand should you run out of talent on a corner, or come to some other mishap, but if they weren’t out there in their familiar orange suits, we wouldn’t have racing cars lining up on the grid at all! That’s why Avon is happy to be giving something back to motorsport’s backroom boys and girls.”
During every racing season more than 2,200 people from around the UK volunteer to marshal at various motor racing events.