DETROIT (Sept 17) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s top executive envisions Cooper becoming the largest tire maker in China in five years with sales of more than $1 billion.
Speaking at a Reuters Autos and Manufacturing Summit in Detroit Sept. 16, Thomas Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO, said Cooper's goal is achieve a market share in China of 15 to 17 percent through acquisitions and expanding its existing business there.
Cooper soon will have more cash on hand to pursue this goal, after announcing Sept. 17 a deal to sell its Cooper Standard Automotive business for nearly $1.2 billion.
Cooper currently has little if any market presence in China. In the past year it has struck three deals to have tires made in China for sale in North America and Europe, but up to now it has not spoken openly about plans to sell tires in China.
Dattilo did not elaborate on Cooper's acquisition plans in China, saying only that China is a "quickly emerging market," according to a Reuters story.