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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to Lay Off 80 Workers in North America

Autosphere » Tires » Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to Lay Off 80 Workers in North America

The firm said in an emailed statement it has reorganized certain departments, resulting in the elimination of 60 salaried positions in Findlay, where the company is headquartered.

A vast majority of the eliminated positions are corporate roles. Cooper’s tire plant in Texarkana, Ark., will see a majority of the remaining 20 layoffs, but cuts also will be made at the firm’s tire plant in Tupelo, Miss. The firm expects to eliminate salaried jobs at both locations. A company spokeswoman said Cooper Tire would not comment beyond its statement.

Cooper did not specify which departments were reorganized, but it said the move was viewed as a necessary response to changes in the tire industry, and that it would place the company in the best position for long-term profitable growth. “While a decision to eliminate positions is very difficult, the reorganization will help our business operate more effectively and efficiently and will align our people to deliver the transformation necessary to execute our strategic plans and drive growth,” the firm said in a statement.

The move comes on the heels of Cooper Tire reporting a 2.3-percent drop in third-quarter sales to $734 million. Sales dropped by 7 percent in its Americas Tire Operations to $625 million, but sales increased 44.8 percent to $163 million in its International Tire Operations. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Cooper’s sales were down 2 percent overall to about $2.1 billion.

North America sales were down 7.1 percent to $1.78 billion, but internationally the firm has experienced a sales increase of 34.4 percent to $457 million. However, Cooper reported double-digit growth in operating and net income for the quarter, improvements the company attributed to lower product liability costs, a non-cash pension settlement charge, and other reduced costs, which offset unfavorable raw material costs, lower unit volume, and higher manufacturing costs. Operating income rose 29.6 percent to $110.4 million, resulting in a 3-point improvement to the operating margin to 13.8 percent. Net income was up 26.5 percent to $62 million, or $1.18 per share.

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