FINDLAY, Ohio (Aug. 4, 2006) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. expects its tire production joint venture in China with Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. to come on stream by year-end or early in 2007, slightly behind schedule.
Cooper expects to get 1 million to 2 million units in 2007 from the venture, in Kunshan, China, according to Philip Weaver, chief financial officer, speaking to anlaysts about Cooper's second quarter results.
The companies broke ground on the $200 million plant in July 2005. The factory originally was scheduled to come on stream by late 2005, according to the firms' statements in late 2003 when they announced the venture.
Cooper and Kenda are 50-50 partners in the venture, but Cooper will get the plant's entire output for the first five years of production.
Cooper earlier said it anticipates importing more than 1 million medium truck and economy passenger tires this year from China from off-take agreements. It called these sourcing initiatives “important to the segment's ability to profitably provide tire products to its customers in North America.”
Cooper is sourcing medium truck radials and radial passenger tires from China's Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd.