Cooper Tire is to sell a part of its automotive plastics division for an undisclosed cash sum. The purchaser is Plastech Engineered Products. The plastics division accounts for around 4% of company turnover.
The first Cooper winter tyre designed specifically for the Alpine market is to be manufactured at Cooper-Avon Tyres’ Melksham (United Kingdom) plant. The “Weather-Master SiO2” will be available in 15 T-rated and 11 H-rated sizes this autumn.
Cooper-Avon Tyres Limited will be exhibiting a number of flagship products from both its Avon and Cooper brands at the “Reifen 2000” international exhibition in Essen, Germany from 20-23 June. For the motorcycle market the company will be unveiling for the first time the “Azaro” with Avon’s variable belt density (VBD) technology. Furthermore two new winter tyres – “CR75″ and CR85” – will make their debuts at the show as well as the new 4×4 tyre named “Ranger H”.
Munich’s “Intermot” has become the main fair for motorbikes, the supplying industry and for dealers involved in motorbike tyres. Although the German market for motorcycles declined by 7 % (Europe: + 7 %) in the first half of this year, once again, “more than 150,000” visitors from 84 countries (1998: 150,368 from 80 countries) came to visit the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 13 to 17 September to find out about the products and services of 1,033 exhibitors and 56 additionally represented companies from 35 countries (1998: 836 exhibitors from 33 countries). As in the premiere event in 1998, the proportion of trade visitors was approximately 35 %, with more than a fifth of their number coming from abroad. The largest contingents of trade visitors from abroad came from within the European Union (67 %) and the rest of Europe. Visitors’ interest encompassed all areas of the fair, with the top favourites being motorised vehicles (72 %), parts and accessories for motorised two-wheelers (47 %) and clothing and rider equipment. Therefore many companies from the tyre business were among the exhibitors in Munich: Cooper-Avon, Continental, Dunlop, Metzeler/Pirelli and Michelin showed their latest products and the tyre trade was present too. And there were a lot of new tyres to discover. For example a winter tyre for scooters, or Continental’s move into the radial segment, seven new tyres from Michelin and many more premieres for the upcoming motorbike season 2001. NEUE REIFENZEITUNG reviews all the news from the show in its October issue.
Six of the largest tyre manufacturers have announced their intention to develop a global e-business purchasing company. Rubbernetwork.com is an independent company which will host a global exchange, including Conti, Cooper, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli and Sumitomo Rubber. Confidentiality is assured and the exchange will be open to all manufacturers and suppliers. It will be operating by the year end. ‘Significant’ savings and efficiencies in purchasing are predicted.
Cooper Tire says it is “outraged” at the implication in recent press reports that there may be an investigation into its tyres. The company says that it has not been contacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and there are no reasons for a recall. Furthermore, Cooper says it would be pleased to furnish the NHTSA with its records and data if required, and these data would confirm that the company’s tyres are safe.
With the exception of Peugeot, Porsche and Beru, other share prices from automobile and tyre companies have fallen to an all-year low. Companies in this category include DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, Kiekert, Delco Remy, Delphi, Phoenix and Johnson Controls, as well as Continental, Cooper, Yokohama, Toyo and Goodyear.
Cooper Tire has announced higher-than-expected sales for the first quarter of the year. One explanation is increased selling activity by tyre dealers, trying to beat April’s price increase of 3% to 5%.
In the fourth week of 2000 the share prices of the tyre manufacturers Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper and Goodyear have hit a 52 weeks’ low. In this week alone, Toyo Tyres fell 10%, Bridgestone 6% and Goodyear 5%. Just a week before Toyo had marked an increase of 12% while again Goodyear (-8%), Michelin (-8%) and Cooper (-8%) did not fare so well.
In the USA, Cooper Tire & Rubber shares have seldom been so cheap. With the recent acquisitions, the market was not convinced that Cooper was running in the right direction, but after the first quarter’s good results, most have changed their opinions and are regarding Cooper with more optimism. An increasing number of experts are convinced that the Cooper management might use the low share price to buy back up to 10% of its own stock, which would have a positive effect. Apart from Cooper, Continental was the only other tyre and rubber manufacturer whose shares were tipped as a “buy” by analysts.
Cooper Tire & Rubber is cutting back on 1,100 jobs and scaling back, or shutting some 18 plants world-wide. Cutbacks at US plants in Michigan, North Carolina and Texas do not appear to affect tyre manufacture. Lay-offs at European plants have still to be confirmed and would be undertaken in consultation with employee representatives. The cutbacks come alongside announcements of record third quarter profits.
Cooper-Avon Tyres has announced that it is to phase out the production of medium sized truck and bus tyres at its Melksham, UK plant. The company intends to concentrate on passenger, light truck, motorcycle and racing tyres.
Tyre manufacturer Cooper Avon wants to buy Siebe’s Automotive Devision. According to present information Cooper has to pay 244.5 million US-Dollar for the company which belongs to the British Invensys group.