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Cooper Tire Serbia says it is “well underway” on a construction project to increase production capacity at its Kruševac manufacturing plant.

With a manufacturing footprint investment of around US$55m in equipment upgrades and facility expansion, the project will increase the size of the Kruševac facility to more than 882,000 square feet.

In addition, the company plans to add 118 new jobs. The project is supported by approximately US$8m in incentives provided by the Serbian government.

With the investment, Cooper Tire Serbia will be able to produce new, larger diameter tyres being requested in Europe and other global markets.

Total annual production capacity at the Kruševac plant will increase by around one-third at completion of the expansion, which is expected later this year and will establish a footprint which could further double capacity with additional equipment and people.

“Cooper Tire Serbia is substantially increasing tyre production capacity at our Kruševac site, which is a key facility within Cooper’s global manufacturing network, supplying tyres to Europe and other global markets,” said Cooper president & CEO, Brad Hughes.

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By GlobalData

“This project will enable the facility to manufacture light truck tyres, including 4×4 tyres, and large diameter tyres up to 22 inches in addition to the passenger car and sport utility vehicle (SUV) tyres it currently produces.”

For his part, Cooper GM, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Jaap van Wessum added: “This expansion demonstrates Cooper’s commitment to the Europe market and will position us to better meet customer needs throughout the region and beyond with high quality tyres that are in step with what consumers want.

“We appreciate the support of the Serbian government and the city of Kruševac in the continued development of this site and look forward to completing the project.”

Cooper acquired the assets of the Kruševac plant in 2012 and has continued to invest in upgrades and expansion projects.