MELKSHAM, England — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is planning to restart production at its motorcycle and race tire plant in Melksham, which has been idled since late March, by June 15.
Melksham-based Cooper Tire Europe plans to begin the process of reopening the plant in the first weeks of June to prepare for restarting production by mid-month, Cooper said. The factory was idled due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts.
The plant has approximately 400 employees now, down from 700 as recently as last year before Cooper began moving production of car and light truck tires to its plant in Krusevac, Serbia. Cooper has operated the plant since its 1997 acquisition of Avon Rubber P.L.C.
To help protect employees returning to the plant, Cooper has put in place a comprehensive set of health and safety procedures that include required employee disclosures, increased cleaning and disinfecting of facilities and equipment, social distancing and physical barriers, visitor restrictions, and other measures.
Similar procedures have been in effect at Cooper plants in China, the U.S. and Serbia, all of which reopened in the past couple of weeks after temporary closures, and are in various stages of ramping production back up according to demand.
Throughout the global pandemic, Cooper's distribution centers around the globe have continued to operate.