KUNSHAN, China—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has opened a $23 million Asia Technical Center at the site of its Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co. Ltd. venture in Kunshan.
The 54,000-sq.-ft. facility will focus on designing and developing passenger and truck tires primarily for China and the Asia market, Cooper executives said at a June 12 dedication ceremony.
“The new Asia Technical Center is a key investment to support our growth in China and throughout Asia,” said Allen Tsaur, vice president and general manager of Cooper Tire Asia.
Cooper said construction of the center took about nine months. The tire maker spends about 1.5 percent of its annual revenue on R&D, according to its financial statements.
“Our two strategic focus areas for Asia are passenger/truck tire growth and continued expansion of our successful work within the original equipment market. Working with OEs such as Great Wall and BAIC ultimately translates to consumer demand for replacement tires,” he added, “and it is the best way to continue to grow our brand as we simultaneously expand distribution points to serve consumers throughout Asia.”
The Asia Tech Center was relocated to Kunshan from Shanghai to a facility constructed specifically for Cooper's research and development activities and staff of 65 material scientists and tire engineers, Cooper said.
It is one of four technical centers Cooper operates; the others are in Melksham, England, and at Cooper's headquarters in Findlay, Ohio.
Also attending the dedication ceremony were Chuck Yurkovich, vice president, global research and development; and Gavin Edwards, general manager of the tech center.