Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced recently that two of its tire manufacturing facilities will operate on reduced schedules due to raw material shortages. As of Oct. 2, Cooper’s plants in Texarkana, AR, and Tupelo, MS, began reduced production schedules.
As Hurricane Rita moved through the U.S. Gulf Coast area, several of Cooper’s suppliers for carbon black and synthetic rubber were severely damaged and have not yet resumed production. Also contributing to the shortage is access to roadways, which is being limited by authorities, and lack of rail cars as businesses compete for shipping alternatives.
Materials currently in stock will be utilized for high demand products, according to Cooper Tire. The company said current finished goods inventory levels should help maintain a steady flow of products to customers. Since Cooper estimates that it has sufficient inventories of tires to fill customer orders, the financial impact of this situation should be limited only to the impact of reduced production in the affected plants.
The company estimates about 30,000 tires per day will be taken out of production until the raw material supply is normalized. While it is impossible to predict how long that will be, Cooper’s suppliers are working diligently to return their plants to full production and Cooper buyers are scouring the market for alternative sources for materials from suppliers not affected by the recent storms.
For more information, visit Cooper Tire’s website at: coopertireandrubber.com.