|Headquarters||Findlay, Ohio, U.S.|
Number of employees
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Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is an American company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of replacementautomobile 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.
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.
From 1946 to 1982, Cooper Tire was headed by a member of the Brewer family: first W.B. Brewer, then his sons, Wayne and Edward. Another son, Robert, was a vice president. W.B. Brewer took Cooper Tire public, and on July 11, 1960, the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CTB," the "B" standing for "Brewer." Throughout their tenure, the Brewers set a tone for hands-on leadership, management mingling with workers, and taking care of them. They built the trust and loyalty of the workers.
Under the Brewers' leadership, Cooper Tire grew significantly. By 1983, the company joined the ranks of Fortune 500 companies as one of the largest industrial companies in the United States.
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 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 Taiwan. Cooper generates 25% of its global sales in China. In 2007 Cooper sold its Oliver Rubber Company subsidiary, which produced tread rubber and retreading equipment, to Michelin for $69 million.
In December 2011, Cooper bought a unit of the Serbian tire manufacturing company Trayal Corporation from Kru?evac, from the Bulgarian company Brikel EAD for a sum of $13 million and invested as much as $50 million. The newly established company which has disintegrated from the Trayal Corporation, was named "Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Serbia" d.o.o. As of 2016, it has around 740 employees and annual revenue of $76 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 Apollo pulled out of the deal since Cooper has not disclosed vital information about its lack of control over its Chinese business. The Chinese plant went on an indefinite strike against the proposed acquisition forcing Apollo to try 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.
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. Cooper Tire remains a major employer in central Melksham.
In addition to Avon, Cooper Tire manufactures tires under the associated brand names Dean, Mastercraft, Mickey Thompson, Roadmaster, and Starfire. Cooper Tire formerly manufactured all tires sold under the Sears Guardsman brand at Sears, Roebuck & Co. stores. Cooper manufactures tires for Discount Tire Company under the Arizonian brand name, and Futura Tires for Pep Boys. Cooper Tire also manufactures Hercules branded tires in Findlay, Ohio. Cooper tires can be purchased at many tire retailers, like Tire Discounters, Pep Boys, Discount Tire, and more.
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.
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.
In the United States, Cooper became the official tire of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship in 2007. Cooper became the official tire of the IMSA Prototype Lites series (formerly IMSA Lites) in 2010. Cooper Tires is the official supplier of the Mazda Road to Indy formula ladder: USF2000 (since 2010), Pro Mazda (since 2013) and Indy Lights (since 2014).
Cooper has 10,540 employees as of its 2016 annual report. Bradley E. Hughes is Cooper's President and CEO.