NEW YORK (March 17, 2008) – Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s decision to hike the number of tires it sources from low-cost countries could include off-take production from India, the company said.
The disclosure came in the firm's 2007 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A Cooper spokesman said there is no off-take agreement as yet with an Indian producer, but the company is evaluating possible manufacturing partners in a number of countries, including joint ventures and greenfield startups.
Cooper recently said it plans to raise the amount of tires sourced in low-cost countries to 35-45 percent from 18 percent during the next five years.
Cooper sourced 2.25 million tires from China last year and recently signed an off-take production agreement with Mexico's Corporacion de Occidente S.A. de C.V. covering up to 2.5 million broadline passenger and light truck radials a year. Cooper said in its 10-K it would source 3.8 million tires in 2008 from China, Mexico and other off-take partners.
At the same time, Cooper is selling its minority ownership stake in South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc., which it bought two years ago as part of its global supply strategy then.