FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire is preparing to close its manufacturing facilities in Europe temporarily in order protect the health and safety of employees, "and respond to market demand that has been impacted by the coronavirus."
Cooper said early today that it will begin the process of phasing down production at two plants, located in Melksham, England, and Krusevac, Serbia. The tire maker said the facilities are expected to be closed for three weeks, and it will continue to monitor the situation and adjust timelines "as necessary."
Cooper's plants in England and Serbia employ about 1,350 hourly workers.
On March 21, Cooper detailed plans to suspend production temporarily at its tire plants in the U.S. and Mexico.
Cooper said it started phasing down production and plans to proceed "on a rolling schedule" throughout the coming week, with facilities expected to be closed for two to three weeks.
Cooper said that its plants in China reopened several weeks ago and continue to increase production.
The Findlay-based company said it is " closely monitoring supply chain and product inventory levels globally" as it focuses on serving its customers.
Cooper said it will continue to operate distribution centers globally until further notice to meet customer needs.
In addition, Cooper said it has initiated measured at its locations to protect employees and "meet the needs of all stakeholders." These measures include travel restrictions, remote working, social distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, limited visitor access and other steps, all of continue to be practiced.