The Cooper Tire and Rubber Company have announced that it will be closing its Melksham factory, the last of the firm’s factories in the United Kingdom. The proposed closure was due to “increasingly challenging” circumstances to keep the factory’s operations given the current business environment.
The proposed closure is slated to happen by the end of 2023, based on a report from Wilshire Live, published on October 13, 2022, Cooper Tires made the announcement on the same day. The Melksham factory has been with Cooper since the very beginning and was with the brand during its rise in the 1950s and 1960s.
Avon is a brand under the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company umbrella, known for models like the Cobra series of tyres which finds use on big cruisers and is known for its long-lasting tread life. Apart from that, Avon's lineup also has the 3D Super Sport, meant for sportier riders and bikes. Of course, there are also many different models in between with offerings for adventure bikes as well. Avon's motorcycle tyres are produced in the UK, and the closure of the last factory brings future production into question.
Apart from the announced closure back in October, the company also announced that 350 Cooper Tire and Rubber employees will be involved in a consultation process. In other words, up to 350 of these employees will be laid off, and the company will offer support to those affected.
“It is with deep sadness that we have announced our intention to begin a consultation process on the proposed closure of our tyire production facility at Melksham,” said Gavin Champion, the HR director at The Cooper Tire and Rubber Company.
“Our Melksham site has struggled to be competitive for some considerable time and everyone involved has worked extremely hard to keep operations going for as long as possible. However, this has become increasingly challenging in the current business environment,” he added.
Le Repaire Des Motards picked up on the story and reported that the company had experienced declines in profitability, forcing it to relocate its production to other countries back in 2018. There is no further news on where the production of Avon motorcycle tyres will be sent to or what country it will end up in.