MELKSHAM, England (Feb. 22, 2000) — Cooper-Avon Tyres Ltd. is phasing out production of medium-sized truck and bus tires at its Melksham plant and plans to devote the freed-up space to expanded output of car, light truck, motorcycle and racing tires.
The decision coincides with a two-year plan at Cooper-Avon to move away from marginal or less profitable product lines, said Rod Pottow, managing director of Cooper Avon and vice president of European tire operations for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
``However, we have not been contracting the Cooper Avon business,´´ Mr. Pottow said, pointing out that the firm had invested more than $65 million in the last three years to expand manufacturing capacities of its other tire lines.
Efficiencies associated with this investment, however, have meant some cuts to Cooper Avon´s workforce. Employment will be down to around 1,000 by year-end, about 300 fewer than a couple of years ago, Mr. Pottow noted.
Cooper-Avon said it intends to sell the radial truck tire building line — including 1994-vintage Mitsubishi building machines and Shaw-McNeil curing presses.