Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
|Traded as||NYSE: CTB|
|Headquarters||Findlay, Ohio, U.S.|
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is an American company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of replacement automobile and truck tires, and subsidiaries that specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. With headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire has 60 manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its worldwide family of subsidiary companies. In July 1960 the company became a publicly held corporation, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Cooper tires are most often sold by independent dealers, and can be purchased online.
The company slogan is "The tire with two names ... the company and the man who built it."
The earliest corporate lineage for Cooper Tire was the M and M Manufacturing Company, founded in 1914 in Akron, Ohio by John F. Schaefer and Claude E. Hart, who were related by marriage. Their new company produced tire patches, tire cement and tire repair kits. They purchased The Giant Tire & Rubber Company of Akron, a tire rebuilding business, in 1920, and in 1922 moved the business to Findlay, Ohio, at a site at the intersection of Lima and Western avenues that is still occupied by Cooper Tire, adjacent to The Cooper Corporation facility. The Cooper name originates from 1919 when Cincinnati auto-parts dealer I. J. Cooper formed The Cooper Corporation in Findlay, to manufacture new tires. The Cooper Corporation, the M and M Company, and The Falls Rubber company merged in 1930 to form the Master Tire and Rubber Company. The company name was changed to Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in 1946.
The Cooper oval trademark with the Cooper Knight headgear was first registered and used in 1941. In those early years of the brand's identification, the logo also included a banner proclaiming the tires' "armored-cord" construction. The company's red, white, and blue logo would become one of the most easily recognized emblems in the tire industry.
During World War II the company, known as Master Tire and Rubber, manufactured pontoons, landing boats, waterproof bags and camouflage items, inflatable barges, life jackets and tank decoys, as well as tires, to supply the Allied forces. The U.S. government recognized the company's contribution to the war effort in a 1945 ceremony bestowing the Army-Navy ‘E’ Award (for excellence). Soon after the war (1946) the company name was changed to Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.
In 1997 Cooper purchased Avon Tyres Ltd, based in Melksham, England.
The company's largest growth acquisition occurred in 1999 when it bought The Standard Products Company, which increased Cooper's total workforce by 10,000 employees. Dearborn, Mich.-based Standard Products produced sealing, plastic trim and vibration-control systems for the automotive original-equipment industry worldwide. The purchase included Standard Products subsidiaries Oliver Rubber Company and Holm Industries Inc. Oliver Rubber manufactured tread rubber and equipment for the truck-retread industry. Holm produced seals for home and commercial refrigerators.
In 2003 Cooper purchased Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels.
In January 2005 Cooper agreed to purchase 11% of South Korea-based Kumho Tires Company, and also announced the formation of a new commercial division encompassing both Oliver Rubber Company and commercial tires.
In October 2005 Cooper announced an agreement to obtain 51% ownership in China’s third largest tire manufacturer, Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Passenger Tire Company Ltd., and Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Truck Tire Company Ltd., to produce truck and passenger car tires for mainland Chinese and export markets. Two of the businesses of the joint venture are Cooper Chengshan Passenger Tire, and Cooper Chengshan Tire. In 2007 Cooper set up a manufacturing venture in eastern China with Kenda Rubber Industrial Company, a company based in the Republic of China on Taiwan. Cooper generates 25% of its global sales in the People's Republic of China. In 2007 Cooper sold its Oliver Rubber Company subsidiary, which produced tread rubber and retreading equipment, to Michelin for $69 million.
At the end of 2011, Cooper bought Serbian tire company Trayal from Kruševac. Cooper took over a unit of Trayal Korporacija AD from Bulgarian company Brikel EAD for $13 million and invest as much as $50 million.
On June 12, 2013 a deal was finalized in which Apollo Tyres of India would buy Cooper for $2.5 billion. This move would have made Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. the only major U.S. tire manufacturer. Cooper is the second largest U.S.-based tire company, after Goodyear. On December 30, 2013 Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. pulled out of the deal to sell the company to Apollo Tyres, after months of Apollo trying to lower the $35-per-share bid in the original deal.
Cooper Tires produces Cooper branded tires for passenger cars, light trucks, sport utility vehicles and commercial trucks.
Avon Rubber PLC
In 1997, the tire business of Avon Rubber PLC of Melksham, Wiltshire, in the United Kingdom was sold to Cooper. This left Avon able to concentrate on its core businesses of automotive components, technical products, and protective equipment. The Cooper Tire site remains a major employer in central Melksham.
In addition to Avon, Cooper Tire manufactures tires under the associated brand names Dean, Mastercraft and Starfire. Cooper Tire also used to manufacture all tires sold under the Sears Guardsman brand at Sears, Roebuck & Co. stores. Cooper Tire also manufactures Hercules branded tires from Findlay, Ohio.
Motorsports and sponsorships
Cooper became the official tire of the A1 Grand Prix, dubbed the World Cup of Motorsports, for the series' initial 2005-2006 season and was under contract to produce slick tires and treaded rain tires for the series championship until 2008. Cooper became the official tire of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship in 2007. Cooper became the official tire of USF2000 National Championship and the IMSA Prototype Lites series (formerly IMSA Lites) in 2010.
Since 1982, Avon Tyres had been the sole supplier for the British Formula Three Championship. From the 2009 season onwards, these were re-branded "Cooper" as Cooper became the championship's official title sponsor, and will be until the end of the 2014 season at least. Avon Tyres was also the exclusive supplier for the FIA Formula Two Championship when revived in 2009 to 2012.
In April 2010, Cooper/Avon Tyres presented a written proposal to Formula One Team Association (FOTA) to be the official tire supplier for the 2011 Formula One season.This was ultimately rejected and Pirelli became the official tire supplier for 2011 onwards.
Management and company personnel
Cooper has 13,311 employees. Roy V. Armes is Chairman, President, and CEO. On June 12, 2013, Apollo Tyres of India agreed to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in a $2.5 billion deal that would have made Apollo Tyres the seventh-largest tire company in the world. On December 30, 2013, Cooper announced it would abandon the merger with Apollo, citing several complications.
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- Bijoy Anandoth Koyitty and Aradhana Aravindan (June 12, 2013). "India's Apollo Tyres to buy Cooper Tire for $2.5 billion". Reuters. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
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- "IMSA, Cooper Tire align for partnership in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship" (pdf) (Press release). International Motor Sports Association. November 16, 2009.
- Cooper Tire agrees British Formula 3 extension - Cooper Tire official website
- Formula Two relaunches on Avon Tyres - Avon Tyres press release
- Cooper Avon enters race for 2011 tyres - Autosport, 17 April 2010
- Apollo-Copper fallout - BTvIn
- Gelles, David (30 December 2013). "Cooper Tire Abandons Merger". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2013.