Cooper Tire Serbia, a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB), has announced it is well underway on a construction project to increase production capacity at its Kruševac tyre manufacturing plant. With a strategic manufacturing footprint investment of approximately $55 million (USD) in equipment upgrades and facility expansion, the project will increase the size of the Kruševac facility to more than 882,000 square feet.
In addition, the company plans to add 118 new jobs. The project is supported by approximately $8 million (USD) in incentives provided by the Serbian government.
With this investment Cooper Tire Serbia will be able to produce new, larger diameter tyres being demanded in Europe and other global markets. Total annual production capacity at the Kruševac plant will increase by approximately one-third at completion of this expansion, which is expected later this year, and will establish a footprint which could further double capacity with additional equipment and people.
“Cooper Tire Serbia is substantially increasing tyre production capacity at our Kruševac site, which is a key facility within Cooper’s global manufacturing network, supplying high quality tyres to Europe and other global markets,” said Brad Hughes, Cooper President & Chief Executive Officer. “This project will enable the facility to manufacture light truck tyres, including 4×4 tyres, and large diameter tyres up to 22 inches in addition to the passenger car and sport utility vehicle (SUV) tyres it currently produces.”
“This expansion demonstrates Cooper’s commitment to the Europe market and will position us to better meet customer needs throughout the region and beyond with high quality tyres that are in step with what consumers want in today’s tyres,” said Jaap van Wessum, Cooper’s General Manager – Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We appreciate the support of the Serbian government and the city of Kruševac in the continued development of this site, and look forward to completing the project.”
Cooper acquired the assets of the Kruševacplant in 2012 and has continued to investin upgrades and expansion projects at the site.