Cooper Tire & Rubber Company today announced it has signed an agreement to buy the assets of an existing tire plant in Krusevac, Serbia.
Located 200 kilometers south of the country’s capital Belgrade, Krusevac is seen as an excellent export base for the European and Russian markets. The new wholly-owned subsidiary will be called Cooper Tire Serbia and will add to the company’s European operations including the high performance tire plant in Melksham, England. „It is a logical next step in the high quality, cost-effective manufacturing footprint underpinning Cooper’s strategy of profitable top-line growth,” reads the press release.
The initial investment is estimated at around €13 million, but Cooper Tires plans to invest over €50 million in Serbia over the next three years. The local government will also provide up to €10 million in investments if certain goals are achieved. “The Serbian government is very supportive of this transaction and promoted the benefits of the location, the labor force and the competiveness in the region,” said Hal Miller, president of Cooper’s International Tire Segment.
Cooper Tire Serbia will initially employ 400 people, with plans to grow to 600-700 employees and a production capacity of 3 million tires a year within three years.