FINDLAY, Ohio (Oct. 7)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has contracted the Chinese manufacturer Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. to make medium truck tires for export to the U.S. market. Hangzhou will produce 250,000 to 350,000 tires annually, according to Cooper's technical specifications and under Cooper's brand names. The move will allow Cooper to expand its current offering in the segment without significant capital outlay, and allow it to keep its costs competitive, Cooper Tire President Dick Stephens said in a release. Cooper is in the process of transferring radial medium truck tire molds and other related equipment from its Albany, Ga., plant where the tires currently are produced. The tire maker plans to fill out capacity in Albany with performance and specialty light truck tire production, Stephens said, but exactly how much production Cooper secures in Asia will depend on the success of its U.S. efforts to make quality tires at a competitive cost.