Although Cooper Tire & Rubber will retain offtake rights for tyres produced by the Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Company Ltd (CCT) plant in China after its ownership is fully transferred to Chengshan Group Company Ltd., the tyre maker is nevertheless looking for an alternate supply of tyres in China. Several options are under consideration; company chairman, chief executive officer and president Roy Armes outlined these at Cooper’s third quarter earnings call on 7 November.
Tom Lause, currently controller – global operations at Cooper Tire & Rubber, has succeeded Brad Hughes as the company’s treasurer. He also assumes responsibility for the tax function at Cooper as part of this position. These new duties will be carried out alongside Lause’s existing role until a successor for the position of controller – global operations is appointed.
A binding decision on the future ownership of the Chinese joint venture company set up by Cooper Tire & Rubber and Chengshan Group Company Ltd is still to be made, however the two parties are now in talks and have entered into an option agreement for working out the future of Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Company Ltd (CCT).
Yesterday Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced it has extended, for a brief period, the option commencement deadline within the agreement that Cooper, Chengshan Group Company Ltd. and the CCT labor union reached in January of this year, which set forth a process to determine the future ownership of Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Company Ltd (CCT).
After a first quarter punctuated by lower year-on-year net sales and income, Cooper Tire & Rubber achieved growth – albeit slight – in the second quarter. During the three-month period ending 30 June, the tyre maker’s year-on-year net sales increased 0.5 per cent to US$888.7 million. Operating profit rose 10.7 per cent to $76.6 million, with operating margin reaching 8.6 per cent (7.6 per cent in Q2, 2013). Cooper says the increased in operating profit resulted primarily from favourable raw material costs of $67 million, higher unit volume of $13 million, favorable selling, general and administrative costs of $10 million, and manufacturing cost efficiencies of $7 million, which more than offset unfavorable pricing and mix of $85 million. The 2013 operating profit included $7 million in costs related to the then-pending merger with Apollo Tyres, which subsequently did not occur.
At its Investor Day, held in New York on 15 May, Cooper Tire & Rubber outlined the measures it will implement to support the company’s goal of sustained annual operating profit in the eight to ten per cent range and, over the long term, operating profit above ten per cent plus annual net sales in the vicinity of US$5 billion to $6 billion.
Less than two weeks after releasing overdue third quarter 2013 results that reflected the disruptions experienced at Cooper Chengshan in China – a situation that cost the company US$56 million in negative impact, including $47 million in lower volumes and $9 million in manufacturing inefficiencies – Cooper Tire & Rubber has published its fourth quarter and full year 2013 figures. Sales, operating profit and net profit are all lower than in 2012.
Cooper has secured its first US original equipment deal with Ford, which has selected the Cooper Zeon RS3-A as the standard fitment on its 2013 Ford Focus SE and Titanium models. Tire Review reports that the all-season UHP tyre will be supplied in W-rated size 215/50R17.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported net income of $86.6 million for the first half of 2012, against total sales of $2.04 billion for the period, Tire Review reports. The first half sales were up compared to $1.82 billion for the same period in 2011, and net income surpassed last year’s $32.9 million.
Direct negotiations between Cooper Tire and the United Steelworkers union regarding Cooper’s Findlay plant broke down late last year, yet the union has found other means of communicating its position. Tire Review reports that last weekend the USW held a “day of action” that involved protest at numerous tyre retailers that sell Cooper products. The union distributed information about “Cooper Tire's unfair and illegal lockout” of workers at the plant.
Cooper Tire & Rubber has appointed Cynthia A. Niekamp to the company’s Board of Directors. Niekamp is senior vice-president of PPG Industries’ automotive OEM coatings business, a position she has held since 2010. She joined PPG in 2009 as vice-president of the automotive OEM coatings business.
A faultering US tyre market contributed to poor second quarter results for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. The tyre-maker saw second quarter net income of just $12 million, down nearly 38 per cent year-on-year, against sales of $922 million, up 15 per cent from the second quarter of 2010. For the entire first half, Cooper posted sales of $1.83 billion, up from $1.56 billion for the same period last year. Net income, however, came to $32.9 million, down considerably YoY from $67.3 million.
As of April 4, Stephen Zamansky will succeed Jim Kline in the position of vice president, general counsel and secretary at Cooper Tire & Rubber. Kline will retire on May 31, 2011 after leading Cooper’s legal department for eight years. In his new role, in which he reports directly to company chairman, CEO and president Roy Armes, Zamansky will oversee Cooper's legal affairs, environmental affairs, and corporate governance and compliance functions.
Cooper Tire’s Tupelo factory in the US state of Mississippi has achieved a million man-hours without recording a single lost time injury. The tyre maker states this milestone “demonstrates the company's commitment to the highest standards of safety performance and its desire to create a safer working environment.”
Cooper Tire has joined the ranks of generous tyre companies donating money to the Haiti relief fund. The company announced today that it is pledging up to $25,000 in donations to support relief and recovery efforts in Haiti after the 12 January, 2010 earthquake, which caused catastrophic damage and tremendous loss of life. The Company will match up to $25,000 in employee donations through a special Haiti disaster-relief matching gift programme.