FINDLAY, OH --
Cooper Tire and Rubber has signed an outsourcing agreement with Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co., located in Hangzhou, China. Hangzhou will supply approximately one million passenger radial tires to Cooper for sale in the U.S.
Last October, Cooper announced an agreement with Hangzhou to supply Cooper with radial medium truck (RMT) tires which had previously been made at Cooper's Albany, Ga., plant. The Albany facility will add passenger capacity to replace the RMT production.
The Hangzhou will produce one entry-level line in six sizes under the Cooper, Mastercraft, Dean and Starfire brand names. The tires will be produced using Cooper specifications and quality standards specifically for the North American market from Hangzhou's ISO 9001 certified plant in China. The tires are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2004.
"This outsourcing arrangement with this respected manufacturer will help us meet our growing demand," said Dick Stephens, president of Cooper's Tire Group. "Our UHP initiative has resulted in a steadily increasing demand for the Cooper Zeon performance lines. By outsourcing some of our broadline products, we can devote more production capacity to the more exotic performance tires.
"We have increased capacity at all of our U.S. plants and these tires from Hangzhou will help fill in the gap between our capacity and projected demand," Stephens said.
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