Findlay, Ohio – Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has “substantially completed” the transition of its passenger car tire production from the UK to Serbia, according to president and CEO Brad Hughes.
The move had so far resulted in $7 million (€6.3 million) of restructuring charges, with the figure expected to reach $8-10 million for the full year, Hughes told analysts on a 28 Oct conference call 28 Oct.
Cooper Tire confirmed in January that it was moving the production of passenger car and light vehicle tire from Melksham, the UK to Krusevac, Serbia, with the loss of 312 jobs.
According to the Cooper boss, the benefits of a lower cost-footprint in Serbia should kick in in 2020 and help the tire maker to “turn a corner” after a difficult trading period.
In its latest financial statement, the company posted double-digit falls in operating income for the three- and nine-month periods ended 30 Sept.
The declines were linked to costs related to US import duties on Chinese products and higher manufacturing costs as well as the relocation of production from Melksham into Serbia.
Cooper’s sales revenue fell by 4.5% in the third quarter to $704.1 million and by 1.7% in the nine months to $2 billion.
Operating income dropped 35% to $52.8 million in the quarter and 21% in the nine months to $110.9 million.
Third quarter operating profit was impacted by $15 million extra costs related to new tariffs on products imported into the US from China.
The tire maker also reported $16 million of lower-volume impact and $12 million of related higher manufacturing costs.