US tyre manufacturer Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has acquired the assets of a tyre manufacturing facility in Kruševac, about 200 km from Belgrade, in Serbia.
The facility will be operated as a subsidiary company, Cooper Tire Serbia, and will supply tyres to the European and Russian markets.
This will complement the manufacturer’s European operations and product offerings, including the high-performance tyres produced at its Melksham facility, in England.
The company states that the acquisition is a logical next step in the high-quality, cost-effective manufacturing footprint underpinning its strategy of profitable top-line growth.
During a formal signing ceremony attended by Serbian President Boris Tadi´c, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovi´c and US ambassador Mary Warlick, in January, Cooper chairperson, president and CEO Roy Armes said that the investment in Serbia was based not only on its significant economic potential, but also on the country’s high-quality workforce, geo-graphical advantages and the government’s support.“
The Serbian government, the Kruševac community and our future employees are very excited about the opening of Cooper Tire Serbia and the economic benefit it will bring to the area.
“In serving the world's fastest-growing markets, as well as the world’s largest market, we have expanded our global footprint and ability to respond to evolving demands and customer needs. This acquisition strengthens our presence in Europe and complements our existing worldwide operations,” added Cooper International tyre segment president Hal Miller.
Cooper plans to invest in excess of €50-million in the Serbian operation over the next three years, with the Serbian government expected to contribute up to €10-million of the total, if certain goals are achieved.
The plant will initially employ 400 people; however, within three years, the company plans to increase the production capacity of the plant to three-million tyres a year, which will require a workforce of between 600 and 700 employees.