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Cooper Tire Shuts US Manufacturing Plants on Coronavirus Scare

Zacks Equity Research

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company CTB temporarily shut down its tire manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico on account of the coronavirus outbreak. The production halt at the plants will proceed on a rolling schedule over the coming week, with facilities expected to be closed for at least two to three weeks.

Cooper Tire is closely monitoring the supply chain and product inventory levels as it focuses on continuing to serve clients. The company claims it currently has ample product supply, and will continue to operate distribution centers to meet consumer needs until further notice.

Further, Cooper Tire has changed its manufacturing processes and cut production levels in the plants, in line with the nation-wide campaign addressing the crisis. It has implemented more stringent cleaning regimens, imposed restrictions on access to the plants and taken other steps to keep workplaces safe for employees. Other measures to contain the spread of the virus include allowing some employees to work from home and social distancing.

The company’s plants in China reopened several weeks ago and continues to ramp up production in the country. The company is also currently assessing plans for its Europe operations.

With Europe being declared as the epicenter of the outbreak,automakers are putting brakes on their European production.

A couple of days back, CNH Industrial CNHI suspended most of its European assembly operations for two weeks, driven by disruptions in its supply chain amid coronavirus scare. The suspension applies to its agricultural, construction, commercial and specialty vehicles production facilities. The company is working in close consultation with unions and works councils to implement the temporary shutdowns and the re-opening of the plants.

Cooper Tire currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’sZacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

The rapidly-spreading coronavirus pandemic has become a concern for other global auto biggies as well including Tesla TSLA, Honda Motor HMC, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen AG, Goodyear Tire, Nissan, Harley-Davidson and Hyundai Motor. Several automakers have closed their factories and suspended production, while the others plan to change manufacturing processes and cut production levels in their plants, in line with the nation-wide campaign addressing the crisis. The pandemic has not only dented consumer sentiment and thwarted vehicle demand but also distorted the global supply-chain balance.

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