Tupelo Cooper Tire Plant Celebrates Production Milestone

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – One of the largest employers in Northeast Mississippi celebrates a milestone as the 375 millionth tire rolls off of the assembly line.

Cooper’s Tupelo plant manager tried to put the number of tires produced in perspective.

“So placed end to end, those 375 million tires would cover about 162,000 miles.  That’s enough to go around the earth almost seven times and about three quarters of the way from here to the moon,” said Jim Pritchett, plant manager for the Tupelo Cooper Tire facility.

The 375 millionth tire was on display, a Discoverer SRX. But the plant manager said the celebration was not about a tire, but the entire Tupelo team.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the work ethic and mind for safety and quality that our folks have at the Tupelo plant,” Pritchett said.

Cooper’s Tupelo plant opened in 1984.  Back then company officials hoped to employ 300 workers who would make 7,000 tires daily.  34 years later, nearly 1,400 workers produce about 30,000 tires everyday.  The impact is felt throughout the area.

“It means everything to the city to have businesses that are productive and provide jobs , employment opportunities, also they give back to the community, Cooper Tire employees are involved in all aspects of the community and help support the Tupelo Spirit,” said Ward 3 Councilman Travis Beard.

The manufacturer also partners with local educators for workforce training.

“Itawamba Community College has always been a supporter of Cooper Tire and other manufacturers in the area, we meet company’s needs, we help companies with their new hire training, or continuous improvement training,” said Tatiana Sherman, ICC’s Workforce Project Manager.

Company officials plan to continue playing a major role in the area for decades to come.

The annual payroll from the Tupelo Cooper Tire plant is more than $100 million.

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