FINDLAY, Ohio (March 2) — Roy Armes, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.´s president and CEO since January, said he is confident the Findlay-based tire maker can deliver solid results.
Discussing Cooper´s fourth quarter and 2006 financial results during a conference call, Armes said he has visited Cooper´s North American facilities, various dealer customers and the firm´s operations in China in his two months on the job since coming from Whirlpool Corp.
"In a nutshell I would say I am more optimistic about our opportunities today than when I started in this role," he said.
Cooper´s China operations — including the Chengshan plants acquired last year and the joint venture plant with Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. — can offer even more opportunities for Cooper, he said. The Chengshan operations contributed to Cooper´s sales gains in the fourth quarter and year.
"We need to find a way to ramp up production faster (at the Kenda JV plant), and we´re developing plans to do just that," he said.
Armes also said he was surprised by the loyalty of dealers he met, noting, "This is something we cannot take for granted."