Cooper Tires is a 100% US brand that was founded back in 1914 in Findlay, Ohio. Since then, the company was acquired by Goodyear which is also a US company based in Akron, Ohio. Cooper has production facilities across four different continents, but some Cooper tire models are made in the USA. So, which Cooper tires are made in the USA?
Which Cooper Tires Are Made In The USA?
American-made Cooper tires come from one of four US-based Cooper production facilities in Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, or Arkansas. These factories produce the Cooper A/T3 XLT, the Cooper Zeon LTZ, the Cooper Discoverer H/T Plus, the Cooper Discoverer SRX, the Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx, the Cooper Discoverer STT PRO, and the Cooper Discoverer HT3.
How To Tell If A Cooper Tire Is Made In The US?
If you want to know if a Cooper tire you are looking at was made in the US or not, you can do that simply by looking at the Department of Transportation alphanumeric stamp symbol printed directly onto the sidewall of the tire. The very first numbers and letters will tell you where the tire was manufactured.
DOT codes for Cooper’s USA plants are as follows:
- UT – Texarkana, Arkansas
- UP – Findlay, Ohio
- 3D – Albany, Georgia
- U9 – Tulepo, Mississippi
How To Tell Where A Tire Was Made?
The easiest way to tell where a specific tire was made is to look for the tire identification number (TIN) which consists of 12 symbols that indicate where and when the tire was made. To understand the TIN more thoroughly, we will use this handy image courtesy of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers’ Association as an example.
- MA – The first two letters always indicate the associated manufacturer plant code ID, which in this instance is Zhejiang Zhongchi Rubber Co., Ltd. in Zhejiang, China. Some TINs come with a single-digit number in front of these two letters, but if you want to know more about the ID on your tires, you can look for further info here.
- L9 – The next two letters are associated with the tire size code which can be freely determined by the manufacturer. This means that NHTSA allows every manufacturer to determine their codes at their own discretion.
- ABCD – The next four letters are the manufacturer construction code letters which can also be freely determined by every manufacturer. This code is usually used for recall purposes as it usually points towards a specific batch number.
- 0309 – The final four numbers are associated with the date when the tire was made. The first two indicate the week and the last two numbers indicate the year.
Which Tire Brands Are From The USA?
For a tire brand to be considered 100% American, it needs to be founded on US soil and owned by US companies which means that only Cooper Tires and Goodyear Tires are 100% US brands. BF Goodrich was founded and owned by a US company but was later sold to Michelin while Firestone is now under the Japanese Bridgestone umbrella.
Even though both brands were American and can still be considered American, they are owned by foreign companies. It’s the exact same story with Bentley and Rolls Royce which are often viewed as quintessential British brands that portray British class and elegance. However, Bentley is owned entirely by VAG while Rolls Royce is owned entirely by BMW.
Are US-made Tires Better Than Foreign-made Tires?
As far as tires from a single brand are concerned, no, there are no differences between them. That is both a rule and a necessity, as different levels of quality across different markets are sure to damage the brand and will open the way for counterfeit tires. These US brands hold a high standard of quality which needs to be respected across all markets.
The process goes like this – The main company sends its materials, the technology needed for manufacturing, and the equipment to the factory in a different country. The workforce there needs to be trained equally in order to be able to handle the equipment and to be able to meet all the necessary qualifications when it comes to skill and manufacturing knowledge.
Then those tires go through the same testing sessions in the same environments. Those tests are usually run by the same group of specialists with the same level of experience. Some say that there are some discrepancies between US-made and foreign-made tires even for the most premium brands out there, but these are just rumors and nothing else.
Are US Tire Brands Better Than Foreign Tire Brands?
The only two true US brands are Goodyear and Cooper, and the only premium US tire brand is Goodyear. Continental is a German tire brand, Michelin is a French tire brand, Bridgestone is a Japanese tire brand and Pirelli is an Italian tire brand. These tire brands are often referred to as the best, and it’s really difficult to pick the best brand out of them all.
Some say that the best tire brand out there is Michelin, while others believe it’s Continental, Goodyear, or Pirelli. This means that we can’t really say which is the best tire brand in general, as all of them are at the top of their game. What we can say is that US tire brands are able to go toe-to-toe with the best tire brands on the planet without breaking a sweat.
If you ever wondered which Cooper tires are made in the USA, it’s the Cooper Discoverer series of tires, the Cooper A/T3 XLT, and the Cooper Zeon LTZ. Some Cooper tires were made in the USA before, but right now, these are the only models designed and produced in the USA. Cooper owns four factories in the USA, one in Mexico, a few in China, one in the UK, and one in Serbia.
However, some tires Cooper makes in China do find their way to the US market and vice-versa. This is why Cooper needs to have consistent levels of quality across all of its production facilities, no matter where in the world they exist.