FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said Tuesday it launched a capacity study of its U.S. manufacturing facilities that will likely lead to consolidation or restructuring.
Cooper said it is reviewing all of its U.S. manufacturing facilities based on factors such as productivity, long-term financial benefits and labor relations.
The economic slowdown has resulted in lower demand for replacement tires and a surplus of capacity in its facilities, it said.
"The study will likely result in difficult decisions, but it is a significant step toward our attainment" of long-term goals, Chief Executive Roy Armes said.
A company spokesman did not immediately return a message asking which facilities might be affected.
Cooper Tire, like other tire makers, has suffered recently as higher raw materials costs and reduced automobile use has undercut demand. In August, the company said it swung to a loss in the second quarter and curtailed North American production.
Earlier this month, Cooper said it would respond to soft demand in North America by shifting raw materials to plants making in-demand products. It also said employees would work flex schedules at its U.S. plants and share time off to avoid layoffs.
Shares of Cooper Tire fell 11 cents to $7.04 in afternoon trading. Shares have declined 57 percent so far this year.