FINDLAY, Ohio (Jan. 16)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will invest $24.6 million this year to boost annual capacity of car and light truck tires by 1.9 million units at its Albany, Ga., and Texarkana, Ark., plants to meet steadily increasing demand for the company's tires.
Cooper will spend $19.4 million at Albany to boost capacity by 1.39 million units, adding four VMI tire building machines and 16 curing presses. The expansion, based on the company's LEAN manufacturing cell concepts, will create 56 jobs, or about half the number required under traditional manufacturing methods, according to Bill Woeste, vice president of manufacturing.
The new capacity fills space made available by the company's decision to shift production of medium truck radials to China.
At Texarkana, Cooper will invest $5.2 million too boost capacity by 560,000 units annually and expand the plant's capability to manufacture ultra-high-performance tires, the firm said. The sum includes eight new curing presses, an undisclosed amount of new tire building equipment and modifications necessary for the cell manufacturing. The expansion will create 25 jobs.