Goodyear is investing US$200 million (about 1.37 billion yuan, £170 million, 190 million euros) in its Cooper Kun Shan tyre factory. Following the latest investment, the total investment of the Cooper Kun Shan plant is expected to reach $500 million (about 3.42 billion yuan, £410 million, 470 million euros).
Wiltshire politicians and Unite union representatives have reacted to the news that Cooper Tire plans to end tyre production at its Melksham plant by the end of 2023. Speaking to local news source, the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, Michelle Donelan, MP for Chippenham, offered her support to workers, while Melksham’s mayor emphasised the longevity and importance of the manufacturing site in the town’s history. With the plant’s 350-strong workforce represented by Unite, union leader Tony Hulbert railed against the timing of the announcement, given the UK’s spiralling cost-of-living crisis.
Following the news that it is consulting on the closure of the Cooper Melksham tyre factory, Goodyear has announced that it is set to invest 16.5 million euros into the “modernisation” of its Montluçon, France tyre production plant over the next 18 months. The news also marks the end of light truck tyre production at Montluçon. Prior to the announcement, the production of two-wheel tyres accounted for 50 per cent of the site’s activity and the site has also made motorsport tyres during its recent history.
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe plans to close its UK tyre manufacturing plant in Melksham, Wiltshire by the end of 2023. The company will now begin a consultation process on the proposed closure involving 350 Cooper employees and the relevant employee representative bodies. Previous cutbacks at Cooper’s Melksham plant, one of the few new tyre producers remaining in the UK, were announced in 2018. Car and SUV tyre manufacturing were moved to newer facilities in the company’s manufacturing footprint, such as its plant in Serbia. The remaining functions of the site were the production of motorsport and motorcycle tyres, as well as the company’s Europe headquarters and Technical Center. The merger of Cooper and its new parent company The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was finalised in June 2021 following the announcement of its acquisition in February. Goodyear approved a plan to streamline its global administrative structure in the second quarter of 2022.
Cooper Tires says it is “excited” to continue its partnership as the exclusive supplier for the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2022. The championship returns this season with a major difference – the cars are now fully electric – and Cooper Tires has collaborated with the championship and teams to develop a standard tyre that “not only performs well across tarmac and gravel but is also suited to the unique demands of a high-performance electric powertrain.”
Cooper Tire Europe has launched a new product for van drivers. Called the Cooper Evolution Van All Season, the tyre is approved for year-round usage in countries with seasonal tyre regulations and bears the 3PMSF snowflake within a three-peaked mountain logo on the sidewall as evidence of this.
The completion of Goodyear’s takeover of Cooper on 7 June this year brought with it the first indications of the scale of Cooper’s sales in the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market. Before that point, Cooper only reported sales figures for their “International Tire Operations”, which includes sales generated worldwide outside EMEA.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has published figures that show its third-quarter 2021 sales were $4.9 billion, up 42 per cent compared with a year ago. Of course, much of this increase was driven by the company’s acquisition of Cooper Tire, but growth still came in at 16 per cent with the benefits of the Cooper merger excluded. At the same time, Goodyear executives also reported that the company now expects circa 50 per cent greater Cooper merger-related synergies than before. Specifically, this means a benefit of $250 million in run-rate synergies by mid-2023 up from an initial forecast of $165 million. And what’s more, the company expects to realize approximately $20 million of these savings in 2021. No estimates for 2022 synergies are being released until at least the end of 2021 and more likely February 2022 when full-year 2021 data has been processed.
Mickey Thompson’s Baja Legend EXP off-road have claimed 2021 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show Best New Product Awards in the Tire and Related Product category. Mickey Thompson’s ET Street Front drag tyre and Cooper Tire’s Discoverer Snow Claw were also named runners-up.
Cooper Tire Europe has presented a unique Rally Sprint event at the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting in a new partnership. Delayed since March 2020, the eagerly awaited Members’ Meeting took place on 16-17 October. The Goodwood Rally Sprint Presented by Cooper Tires showcased Cooper’s rallying heritage with a spectacular selection of World Rally Championship (WRC) machinery. It is currently a supplier to the North American Rally Championship and the Mobil Rally Chile, as well as being the sole tyre supplier to the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the sister FIA European Rallycross Championship.
Goodyear has announced the appointment of Jaap van Wessum as Goodyear sales general manager Consumer UK & Ireland and Cooper Europe. Van Wessum will lead Consumer Sales within the UK & Ireland alongside leading the Cooper Europe business. He will also have responsibility for Goodyear’s legal entity within the UK and Ireland.
One of the world’s largest tyre companies, Goodyear employs about 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centres in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. Recently, Goodyear completed the acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber, which is a great place to start this month’s Torque from the Top Q&As – an ongoing series of interviews with leading executives. Our interviewee this month is Pravesh Amtha, recent sales general manager Consumer UK & Ireland at Goodyear, who has now moved onto “an expanded leadership role managing a portfolio of strategic business projects across Goodyear’s EMEA business”.
Goodyear has increased operating income considerably in the second quarter of 2021, thanks in part to its merger with Cooper Tire, completed on 7 June. Net income totalled $67 million (£48.45 million at today’s exchange rate $1.00 = £0.72) versus a loss of $696 million (£503 million). Second-quarter sales were $4 billion (£2.89 billion), a rise of 86 per cent versus the second quarter of 2020, which was heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the year to date, Goodyear has sold 40 per cent more tyres than in the same period of 2020, with both replacement tyres (41 per cent) and original equipment tyres (39 per cent) assisting in this rise. Cooper sales between the merger completion date and 30 June (the end of the second quarter) totalled $256 million (£185 million). This figure excludes calculations relating to Cooper inventory and assets.
While the world is still adjusting to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no small measure of disruption in the standings of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers, according to our latest top 25 table. Six of the top 10 have changed places this time round, with the headline news being that Michelin has regained pole position after several years of having Bridgestone in first place. At the same time, Continental has stepped up into third position, leapfrogging the previous incumbent Goodyear.