FINDLAY, Ohio (Oct. 1, 2007) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has formed a 50-50 sales and distribution joint venture in Mexico with CorporaciÃ³n de Occidente S.A. de C.V. and signed an off-take production agreement with the same company covering passenger and light truck radials.
The new company, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. de Mexico S.A. de C.V. in QuerÃ&Copy;taro, Mexico, will be responsible for the marketing, sales and distribution of the Cooper and Pneustone brands, as well as all other associate brand tires marketed by the two partner companies, Cooper said.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed, and Cooper did not divulge its sales expectations for the venture.
Corporacion de Occidente — which also operates as Llanti Systems and Pneustone S.A. de C.V. — operates a former Continental A.G. tire plant in Guadalajara that Continental closed in 2001. A group of Mexican investors bought the plant from Continental and restarted production there in mid-2005 using the Pneustone brand.
Cooper's production agreement with Occidente is expected to begin in the fourth quarter and ramp up over three phases to nearly 2.5 million units annually, Cooper said.
Passenger radials produced under this arrangement will be for sale in the U.S. and Canada as well as in Mexico, Cooper said.