Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is set to open its manufacturing plants in the United States and Serbia next week (the week commencing Monday 27 April). The facilities have been temporarily closed for approximately five weeks due to coronavirus and its impacts. The company’s plant in Melksham, UK remains temporarily closed. And Cooper’s Mexico plant is to close temporarily.
Next week it’ll be a year since Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd. officially launched its project to build a new tyre factory in Serbia. Today the tyre maker is working with its new host country in a way unimaginable 12 months ago. It donated 300,000 disposable surgical masks, 2,000 sets of medical protective clothing, and 10,000 COVID-19 antibody test kits to the Serbian government yesterday via the country’s embassy in China.
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.
China’s Safe-Run Group will supply smart factory equipment to the plant Linglong Tire is setting up in Serbia. The company says it won the contract to fit out the Linglong plant in Zrenjanin, a project valued at more than RMB 700 million (£79.2 million), after beating Finnish, South Korean, Japanese and other rivals in a tender process.
In just a few months’ time, Toyo Tire Corporation will begin research and development work at a new site in Europe. The tyre maker is setting up an R&D centre in Willich, Germany to support its future factory in Serbia, and intends to start operations there in the autumn. Having a local R&D presence in the vicinity of vehicle manufacturers and related companies will, says Toyo, be beneficial in terms of the quality and freshness of the information gained.
Yukio Hasegawa has been named the new president of Toyo Tire Corporation’s subsidiary in Russia, effective tomorrow. He succeeds Kenta Kuribayashi in this role. Kuribayashi remains chief executive officer of the Toyo Tire RUS LLC operation (and president of Toyo Tire Europe GmbH) and will additionally, as of tomorrow, become the Russian subsidiary’s chairman.
Toyo Tire Corporation has announced that it is investing 390.5 million euros in the construction of a new tyre manufacturing facility in Indijia City, Republic of Serbia. Construction of the Serbia plant will start in May 2020, with a view to initiating tyre manufacturing operations in January 2022.
At the start of May, Zivojin Sekulic of GAJ d.o.o. gave a presentation on the digital transformation of the tyre industry at Guangrao Tyre Conference and Expo 2019. Shortly afterwards, he shared details of the presentation with Tyres & Accessories, which shows how digital data is affecting all parts of the distribution chain.
During a ceremony held on 30 March to mark the start of work on its new tyre plant in Serbia, Linglong Tire announced its sponsorship of the country’s top football league, the Serbian SuperLiga. The signing of an agreement between the two parties was witnessed by Goran Knezevic, Serbia’s Minister of Economy, Sinisa Mali, Minister of Finance, Vanja Udovicic, director of Serbian Sports and Youth, Lazovic Dragomir, president of Serbian SuperLiga, Wang Feng, chairman of Linglong Tire, and other guests.
A ceremony has taken place to mark the start of work on Linglong Tire’s new tyre factory in Serbia. Company chairman and chief executive officer Wang Feng greeted guests at the site of the future plant on 29 and 30 March to launch the new subsidiary, Linglong International Europe D.O.O. Zrenjanin (LLIE), and to hold the tyre maker’s global partner conference.
The City of Zrenjanin in Serbia reports that Linglong Tire will lay a symbolic foundation stone on 30 March to mark the start of construction work on its new tyre factory. The ceremony will be attended by China’s ambassador to Serbia as well as national and local officials.
Talks were held last week between Linglong Tire and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Linglong Tire chairman Wang Feng met with key EBRD representatives, including Jurgen Rigterink, first vice-president, Betsy Nelson, vice-president and chief risk officer, and Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, managing director of industry, commerce and agribusiness, in London on 16 October to discuss cooperation on the construction of Linglong’s tyre plant in Serbia.
Shandong Linglong Tire’s plans to set up a tyre factory in Serbia gained a further boost on 17 September with the finalisation of an investment framework agreement with the country’s Ministry of Finance. The document was signed by Linglong chairman Wang Feng and Siniša Mali, Serbia’s Minister of Finance, at a ceremony in Beijing also attended by Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia.