FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s pending purchase of Avon Tyres Ltd. will put the U.S. company, predominantly a manufacturer of replacement tires and engineered products, into some new segments of the tire industry, including: Original equipment: Cooper has only been involved in the replacement tire market, but Avon is an original equipment tire supplier to Rolls Royce, Aston-Martin and Land Rover. Does Cooper now have aspirations to delve into OE?
Cooper Chairman Patrick Rooney noted that the Avon contracts could be classified as an entree into the European OE market for Cooper, but he pointed out that Rolls Royce doesn't sell that many vehicles. Mr. Rooney said the company has no reason to look at entering the OE market ``at this time.''
Retreading materials: Avon is ``a major player'' in the European retreading materials manufacturing market, according to Mr. Rooney, and Cooper plans to continue the European operation, but Cooper ``has no plans at this point and time to bring that particular operation (to the U.S.)''
Racing: Avon is a supplier of racing tires for Formula 3, Formula 3000 and Formula Ford. Cooper said the Avon racing program is a profitable venture and one it plans to maintain. ``It's not a situation where (Avon) gives substantial tires to the racing circuit. They are compensated for the tires used in the racing program,'' company officials said.