On the site of the Cooper Kunshan Tire manufacturing plant in Kunshan, China, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s Asia operations hosted a formal dedication ceremony June 12 for a new Asia Technical Center. The site is approximately 30 miles from Shanghai.
The new 54,000-square-foot technical center was relocated from Shanghai to a new facility constructed specifically for Cooper’s research and development activities and staff of 65 material scientists and tire engineers in Kunshan. The facility will focus on designing and developing new passenger and truck tires primarily for China and the Asia market, said the company.
The dedication ceremony for the new, 54,000-square-foot facility included remarks by Allen Tsaur, Vice President and General Manager of Cooper Asia; Chuck Yurkovich, Vice President, Global Research and Development; and Gavin Edwards, General Manager of the ATC.
“The new Asia Technical Center is a key investment to support our growth in China and throughout Asia,” said Allen Tsaur, vice president and general manager of Cooper’s Asia operations. “Our two strategic focus areas for Asia are passenger/truck tire growth and continued expansion of our successful work within the original equipment (OE) market. Working with OEs such as Great Wall and BAIC ultimately translates to consumer demand for replacement tires, and it is the best way to continue to grow our brand as we simultaneously expand distribution points to serve consumers throughout Asia.”
Chuck Yurkovich, vice president of Global Research and Development added that, “since 2007, Cooper has continued to improve our technical capabilities, placing a strong emphasis on speed to market and the launch of exceptional products. We develop ‘ready-to-use’ advanced technology that we call upon when needed to introduce new products around the world, and we also pursue select innovative technology to achieve a competitive advantage through developing new and enhanced tire and materials technology. Cooper leverages this technology globally, and designs, builds and tests tires at technical centers in Asia, Europe and North America to enable us to provide superior customer value by tailoring products to meet the needs of customers region by region.”
“Locating the new Asia Technical Center on the grounds of the Cooper Kunshan Tire manufacturing plant offers many advantages including speed,” said Gavin Edwards, general manager of the Asia Technical Center. “With a plant nearby, we have the opportunity to test and interact with the people and equipment that actually produces our tires. It allows us to respond quickly to all of our customers, particularly OE vehicle manufacturers, which have high levels of technical demands, as we evolve to create and manufacture the best tires for drivers in China and throughout Asia.”