Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has announced that Cooper Tire Europe plans to begin the process of reopening its manufacturing plant in Melksham, England, in the first half of June, and expects to be producing tyres there by 15 June 2020. The facility, which primarily manufactures motorcycle and racing tyres, has been temporarily closed since late March due to coronavirus.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has reported a first quarter 2020 net loss of $12 million, compared with net income of $7 million in same period last year. Unit volume decreased 15.8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2019. Net sales decreased 14.1 per cent to $532 million. Operating loss was $6 million, or 1.2 per cent of net sales, compared to operating profit of $26 million, or 4.3 per cent of net sales, in 2019.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has confirmed the temporary shutdown of its tyre plants in Europe. Production at the facilities in Melksham, England and Kruševac, Serbia is being phased down this week. Both plants are expected to remain closed for at least three weeks.
After purchasing its former partner’s 42 per cent share in the Corporación de Occidente S. A. de C.V. (COOCSA) joint venture in Mexico, Cooper Tire & Rubber halted passenger and commercial vehicle production at the site and re-hired the workforce there as employees of Cooper Tires. Brad Hughes, the tyre maker’s president and chief executive officer, reports that Cooper Tires is “now in the process of ramping production back up” at the site. Restructuring the plant will cost the company around US$10 million, an expense that will mainly occur in the first quarter of 2020.
Cooper Tire Europe is to enter a 10 month consultation period to decide the future of light vehicle tyre production at its Melksham, Wiltshire facility. News sources suggest that light vehicle tyre production currently in Melksham would be shifted to its factory in Serbia, pending the outcome of the consultation. The company states that the proposed change is a result of the “cost-competitive, globalised environment.” It adds that the Melksham facility “in its present form is not competitive within the Cooper global manufacturing network or the tyre industry at large.” It is Cooper Tire Europe’s highest cost production facility, and the company adds that it considers expanding or updating the facility to meet its light vehicle tyre needs to be “not economically feasible.”
Cooper Tire Europe has opened a new 211,000sqft UK warehouse, with the capacity to store 400,000 tyres, in Swindon. Cooper stores Cooper and Avon brand tyres at the Spectrum Building, with the new facility already being fully operational. The Spectrum Building, designed by British architect Norman Foster, first opened in 1982 and was used as a backdrop in the James Bond film A View To A Kill in 1984.