FINDLAY, Ohio (June 8, 2000)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has named James "Jim" McElya president of Cooper-Standard Automotive, the company´s non-tire operating unit.
Mr. McElya, 53, had been serving as president of the Cooper-Standard Automotive Fluid Systems Division since Cooper purchased Siebe Automotive in early 2000. Prior to that he was president of Siebe Automotive Worldwide and has over 20 years of executive and senior management experience in the automotive industry, the Findlay-based company said in a June 7, announcement.
As president of the automotive group, he will oversee the unit´s global operations, which include more than 60 manufacturing plants in 13 countries.
Cooper´s automotive group is an original equipment supplier of sealing, trim, fluid handling systems and other components to auto makers in North America, Europe, Australia and South America. Ford Motor Co. is its largest OE customer, but others include General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler A.G. and Volkswagen A.G.
Findlay-based Cooper last year spent about $1 billion on two major acquisitions: Standard Products Co., parent of retread equipment and materials supplier Oliver Rubber Co., and Siebe Automotive. Cooper´s automotive group is made up of these non-tire related acquisitions in addition to the company´s previously existing hose, sealing and anti-vibration products manufacturing operations.
The two recent buyouts changed Cooper from tire maker into a multi-product supplier of rubber components to the auto industry. Tires, which accounted for 86 percent of the company´s sales in 1996, now make up less than half.
In announcing the appointment, Cooper Chairman, President and CEO Tom Dattilo said Mr. McElya´s experience and knowledge of the automotive business are perfectly suited for his new position. ``These (attributes) combined with his leadership and character give him the essential tools to grow this very important segment of Cooper´s business and to integrate the acquired business that make up the group. Additionally, Jim´s focus on customer delight is consistent with Cooper´s long tradition of customer service,´´ Mr. Dattilo said.
In a separate June 7 announcement, Cooper-Standard Automotive said it has strengthened its long-term strategic global alliance with Nishikawa Rubber Co. Ltd. of Hiroshima, Japan, a producer of automotive and diversified rubber products. Officials of the two companies said the initiative will strengthen their ability to offer a fully integrated approach to global customers.