FINDLAY, Ohio (Aug. 4) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. expects its tire production joint venture in China with Taiwan´s Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. to come on stream by year-end or early in 2007, slightly behind schedule.
Cooper expects to get 1 million to 2 million units in 2007 from the venture, in Kunshan, China, according to Philip Weaver, chief financial officer, speaking to analysts about Cooper´s second quarter results.
The companies broke ground on the $200 million plant in July 2005. The factory originally was scheduled to come on stream by late 2005, according to the firm´s statements in late 2003 when they announced the venture.
Cooper and Kenda are 50-50 partners in the venture, but Cooper will get the plant´s entire output for the first five years of production.
Cooper earlier said it anticipates importing more than 1 million medium truck and economy passenger tires this year from China from off-take agreements. It called these sourcing initiatives "important to the segment´s ability to profitably provide tire products to its customers in North America."
Cooper is sourcing medium truck radials and radial passenger tires from China´s Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd.