FINDLAY, Ohio (Sept. 29) — Two of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.´s tire manufacturing plants will operate on reduced schedules because of raw material shortages caused by Hurricane Rita, the company announced Sept. 28.
Beginning Oct. 2, Cooper´s tire facilities in Texarkana, Arkansas and Tupelo, Mississippi will begin reduced production schedules. The company estimates that about 30,000 tires per day will be taken out of production until the raw material supply is normalized. Cooper has not established yet a timeline to return to normal production.
As Rita moved through the U.S. Gulf Coast areas, several of Cooper´s carbon black and synthetic rubber suppliers´ plants were damaged and have not yet resumed production, the Findlay-based company said. Also contributing to the shortage is access to roadways, which is being limited by authorities and lack of rail cars as businesses compete for shipping alternatives.
Materials currently in stock will be utilized for high demand products and the current finished goods inventory levels should help maintain a steady flow of products to customers, Cooper said. Since the company is estimating it has sufficient inventories of tires to fill customer orders, the financial impact of this situation should be limited only to the impact of reduced production in the affected plants.