|The Founder of Cooper Tyres - Ira J. Cooper in 1917|
|Building tyres at Coopers in 1931|
|Cooper Tyres Employees in 1917
Cooper traces its roots back to Akron, Ohio when two brothers-in-law purchased the M & M Company in 1914, making tyre patches and repair kits. The owners then purchased the Giant Tire & Rubber Company to make "rebuilt" tyres and moved the business to Findlay, Ohio, in 1917. (Cooper is still located on this original property at the intersection of Lima and Western Avenues).
Another investor, a Cincinnati based auto parts dealer named Ira J. Cooper, established The Cooper Corporation in 1919 on an adjacent property for manufacturing new tyres. These two companies merged with The Falls Rubber Company of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in 1930 and formed The Master Tire & Rubber Company.
During World War II, MasterTire earned a special citation from the armed forces for converting to wartime production of inflatable rafts, pontoon bridges, lifesaving devices, and waterproof bags. Decoy tanks and landing boats made by the company were used in the Normandy Invasion and throughout the European campaign.
In 1946, the company name was changed to Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. In 1960 the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Today, Cooper is the ninth largest tyre manufacturer in the world and is among the 350 largest companies in America. From one small manufacturing plant in Findlay to three major US tyre factories today.
Since Cooper is proud to be an independent American company, Cooper Tires are sold exclusively around the world through independent tyre dealers and distributors.
In 1988 Terry Smith, the General Manager for his family's retail tyre stores in Canberra, travelled to America to attend an International tyre show in New Orleans.
It was during this trip that he first saw the Cooper product and began the process of importing it to Australia. Initially Cooper Tires were only sourced to sell through the family's retail stores in Canberra, however other tyre retailer friends in other cities asked about accessing Cooper for their area, so the wholesale of Cooper in Australia began in a moderate and conservative way.
By 1991, Terry and Susanne established their wholesale distribution business in Brisbane. This was created as a separate entity from the retail business to focus on developing the Cooper brand throughout Australia.
Over the next few years Cooper was established as a major 4X4 tyre in each State of Australia. Through continuing product improvements which were achieved by real world field tests and feedback from Australia, the range of 4x4 tyres that Cooper make in the USA continues to grow.
The distribution of Cooper Tires in New Zealand began with the importation of tubes direct from America. Only 12 months later, Ed Reading, Head of International Sales at Cooper Tires, started working towards making Cooper tyres available to be sold in New Zealand.
For over 15 years now Cooper Tires have been sold throughout New Zealand and continue to expand throughout the country. Cooper Tires are a popular choice for many 4WDrivers and industry professionals with over 35 years experience have been quick to support Cooper Tires and bring them into their in-store range.
The feedback and support from consumers has been incredible, and rewarding. Cooper distribution in Australia and New Zealand today continues with the same philosophy, which is to support the resellers of Cooper by vigorously protecting their territory and using retail experience to market Cooper effectively.