By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – Employees at Cooper Tire and Rubber Co.’s plant on South Green Street have something to celebrate.
Make that a lot to celebrate.
The manufacturing plant last week produced its 325 millionth tire.
But the premium touring tire that rolled off the line won’t be sold and placed on somebody’s car. Instead, it now sits in the plant training room.
“This is a great achievement by the Tupelo team,” said Robert Haggerty, the production manager at the plant. “Every team member contributed throughout the process, and we thank our customers for buying Cooper tires. This is a great tribute to the men and women who work in the plant today as well as all of those who have worked in the Tupelo plant over the years.”
The plant produced its first tire on Dec. 1, 1984.
It once was a production plant for the now-defunct Pennsylvania Tire Co., but had been vacant for five years before Cooper acquired the facility three decades ago.
Cooper took less than a year to get the plant operational.
And when the plant opened, it covered 600,000 square feet. It has nearly tripled in size.
The Tupelo plant produced its 250 millionth tire during its 20th anniversary celebration in 2004.