FINDLAY, Ohio (May 24)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said it is stepping up production of certain sport-utility vehicle and light truck tires to help meet increased consumer demand for them. Like other tire makers, Cooper pledged to do all it can to meet the needs of consumers affected by the latest replacement campaign. "We are stepping up production, and along with our dealer and distribution network, we stand ready to help minimize any inconvenience that consumers might experience in getting replacement tires," Thomas A. Dattilo, Cooper chairman, CEO and president, said in a written statement. Demand for Cooper- and Mastercraft-brand tires has been increasing in recent weeks, even prior to Ford Motor Co.'s recent announcements, Cooper said. Sales for both brands were up more than 10 percent in April compared to year-earlier levels.