Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plans to invest nearly $2 million to expand its plant in Tupelo, Miss., according to media reports.
The expansion news trails Cooper announcing its first half financial results.
According to media reports, the expansion project will add 14,000 square feet to the southeast side of the facility to make room for new equipment. The company also announced it will install an auto-compounder.
“Cooper has been making investments in our manufacturing facilities worldwide toward the goal of continuing to enhance our competitiveness in the global tire business,” said Anne Roman, vice president of communications and public affairs for Cooper.
“As we have said in our recent financial news releases and conference calls, we’ve been working on reconfiguring our manufacturing plants to help us meet evolving consumer needs, such as more premium tires for every day drivers,” she adds.
Cooper’s investment follows the company’s promise to invest up to $140 million in the plant if Mississippi supplies financial help for 10 years. During the 10-year span, the company said it would hire at least 1,300 employees, although Cooper said no additional jobs are tied to the Tupelo expansion. The Tupelo plant currently employs approximately 1,600 workers.
After successfully lobbying to have legislature issue $20 million in bonds for equipment upgrades at the facility, state money will be used to purchase the facility and Cooper will use state and company funds to update the plant.
According to local media, Lee County will provide another $18 million to Cooper for 10 years in the form of tax breaks.