Cooper 'capacity study' to review U.S. production could result in plant closures, layoffs

Jan. 1, 2020
In a process that ?will likely result in difficult decisions,? the Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is conducting a special 90-day ?capacity study? of each of its American plants.

In a process that “will likely result in difficult decisions,” the Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is conducting a special 90-day “capacity study” of each of its American plants.

All of the company’s U.S. manufacturing facilities are included in the review; they will be analyzed based on a combination of factors, including long-term financial benefits, labor relations and productivity.

“The study will determine how to optimize manufacturing capacity in relation to developing market and customer needs, and will likely result in restructuring, including capacity consolidation or geographical shifts to production,” according to CEO Roy Armes.

“This study will likely result in difficult decisions, but (it) is a significant step toward our attainment of those goals. In the end this will benefit Cooper’s stakeholders and ultimately position us as a stronger company,” he says.

The current review marks an evolution of Cooper’s Strategic Plan as outlined by the company in February.

“Economic conditions, including demand for replacement tires, are certainly more difficult than when we initially developed the plan, and this has resulted in surplus capacity in our U.S. facilities,” Armes explains.

“Unfortunately, this type of action has become a necessity. In announcing the study, we have launched a transparent process and will communicate openly with those who may be affected in either manufacturing or administrative positions,” he adds.

“We are committed to realizing the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan to create a sustainable, competitive position in the markets we serve,” says Armes. “Our company has significant liquidity resources available during these challenging economic times, and we believe that we will emerge from this process stronger and more competitive.”

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