FINDLAY, Ohio — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will idle its tire plants in Melksham, England, and Kruševac, Serbia, for at least three weeks to protect the health and safety of employees and respond to market demand that has been impacted by coronavirus.
Cooper's action, which started March 23, follows by two days its decision to do the same at its plants in the U.S. and Mexico.
Cooper's plants in England and Serbia employ about 1,350 hourly workers.
The tire maker said it will continue to monitor the situation and adjust timelines "as necessary."
Cooper said it started phasing down production and plans to proceed "on a rolling schedule" throughout the coming week, with facilities expected to be closed for at least three weeks.
Cooper said its plants in China reopened several weeks ago and continue to increase production.
The Findlay-based company said it is "closely monitoring supply chain and product inventory levels globally" as it focuses on serving its customers.
The tire maker's distribution centers continue to operate globally until further notice to meet customer needs.
In addition, Cooper said it has initiated measures at its locations to protect employees and "meet the needs of all stakeholders."
These measures include travel restrictions, remote working, social distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, limited visitor access and other steps, all of continue to be practiced.