WARREN, Pa.—Superior Tire & Rubber Corp. has been quite fortunate since it was launched in the mid 1960s, experiencing far more ups than downs.
The producer of rubber and polyurethane goods developed a highly diversified manufacturing operation and product portfolio, and expanded regularly, which helped carry it through the lean periods, including the recession of 2008-09.
It is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with typical Superior Tire flair—another expansion. This time it is adding a new production plant, located across the street from its long-established main manufacturing facility.
Superior Tire is adding the 27,000-sq.-ft. factory to boost its polyurethane pouring capacity almost two-fold, produce solid polyurethane agricultural tire and wheel assemblies as well as polyurethane track pads, used primarily for road construction equipment, according to Bill LeMeur, executive vice president of the Warren-headquartered company.
“We have had strong growth in those areas with new opportunities close to fruition,” he said, adding that the plant should begin operating in late June. It likely will have a work force of about 10 to 15 initially, and it is expected to grow.
Superior Tire also has an agreement in principal, although it has yet to be finalized, to add a fourth facility in Warren County. “The building is 33,000 square feet and in all likelihood will be dedicated to steel fabrication,” LeMeur said. “I do not expect ongoing operations in this fourth facility until very late 2014 at the earliest.”
Its main plant spans about 110,000 square feet, including second-floor offices, and the company's adjacent 17,000-sq.-ft. tech center houses the firm's testing and laboratory operation along with its accounting, engineering, sales and marketing groups. The work force for the tech center, main plant and the site that will open in June is about 270. Superior Tire recently launched a sales initiative in Latin America where it hopes to expand and is actively searching out customers, mainly in Columbia and Panama. It currently works with two key customers in Mexico.