Concentrating on its efforts to improve profitability, Mr. Armes noted Cooper trimmed manufacturing costs 16 percent from 2008 to 2012 and expects to cut costs 14 percent further through 2017 through projects that position the company's plants worldwide “to be even more globally competitive while retaining a focus on safely producing high quality products.”
These efforts include increased automation and the consolidation of product family platforms. The latter is designed to reduce manufacturing complexity and costs, enhance sourcing flexibility and speed up product development, Mr. Armes said, while continuing to allow for product differentiation within global regions.
“Cooper has strengthened the foundation of our business over the past several years by improving efficiencies and enhancing our technical capabilities to launch world-class products in the fastest growing and highest value segments of the tire business,” Mr. Armes told investors and analysts.
Regarding expansion, Mr. Armes said Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper has the potential to add capacity for 17 million to 18 million units a year at its existing factories at about one-third the cost of opening new plants.