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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2005

Cooper Tire reduces production in South

FINDLAY - Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is reducing production at two southern tire plants starting Sunday because Hurricane Rita has caused raw materials shortages, the Findlay company said yesterday.

The tiremaker will reduce output at plants in Texarkana, Ark., and Tupelo, Miss., by an estimated 30,000 tires a day, it said. The firm said it has sufficient inventories to fill customer orders.

Several of Cooper Tire's carbon black and synthetic rubber suppliers were severely damaged by the hurricane and suspended production, the company said. Limited access to roads and a lack of rail cars also are contributing to the shortages of raw materials, and buyers are looking for alternative suppliers, it said.

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