Production remains suspended at Yokohama U.S. plants, Cooper Tire to restart Mexico facility


Yokohama Corporation of North America (YCNA) has announced production remains suspended at its U.S. plants, while Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced it plans to restart operations at its tire manufacturing plant in El Salto, Mexico.

YCNA announced Monday both of its U.S. plants will remain closed until further notice because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension of production will remain in effect at Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi (YTMM) and Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia (YTMV). YTMM produces commercial truck tires and YTMV manufactures passenger and light truck tires.

Yokohama, which is committed to the health and safety of plant employees, as well as the community at large, initiated the controlled shutdowns to help stem the spread of COVID-19, the company says. Several preventative measures are also in effect at all company facilities. To ensure the health and safety of all personnel upon their return, the two plants have undergone sterilization and decontamination measures while production is idled.

All other facilities remain open and operational, including all U.S. distribution centers where Yokohama’s supply position is healthy, the company says. Active efforts to mitigate any disruptions are ongoing as the company continues to work closely with their dealer partners.

Cooper Tire says measures to protect the health and safety of employees, including social distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, restricted visitor access and other necessary steps will be in effect as employees return to work Monday, the company says. Announcement of the plant’s temporary closure due to coronavirus impacts was made March 21.

Cooper plants in the United States, which are located in Findlay, Ohio; Clarksdale and Tupelo, Miss.; and Texarkana, Ark., remain temporarily closed. The company expects these plants to remain temporarily closed for at least another two weeks. Cooper says it will continue to monitor the situation and adjust timing as necessary.

Cooper plants in Europe also continue to be temporarily closed. The company’s plants in China continue to operate.

Cooper believes it has sufficient supply of product in inventory, and the company’s distribution centers continue to operate and flow product to customers.

Bridgestone Americas last week announced plans to restart its North American commercial tire plants as well as its North American Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products manufacturing facilities today.

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