El Salto, Mexico — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has begun the process of restarting production at its tire plant in El Salto, which has been idled since 28 April.
Production was due to start 1 June on a limited basis, Cooper said.
Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper was forced to idle the plant — which produces car and light truck tires — in late April in line with a ruling by the Mexican government that ruled the plant "non-essential."
Cooper initially had idled the plant on 21 March due to Covid-19 pandemic concerns and restarted it 13 April.
Cooper said it has put in place a comprehensive set of health and safety procedures that include required employee health disclosures, increased cleaning and disinfecting of facilities and equipment, social distancing and physical barriers, visitor restrictions and other measures.
Cooper earlier this year took full control of the Mexican factory, Corporación de Occidente SA de CV, which it had operated as a joint venture since 2008. The company said it paid $62 million (€56 million) to buy out the minority partners' 41.7% share in the venture, giving it 100% ownership.
Similar restart procedures have been in effect at Cooper plants in China, the US and Serbia, all of which reopened after temporary closures and are ramping production back up according to demand, which has been impacted industry-wide by coronavirus.
Throughout the global pandemic, Cooper's distribution centres around the globe have continued to operate and flow product to customers.