Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) and Elio Motors, Inc., today announced that they have signed a letter of intent to work together. Elio, headquartered in Troy, Michigan, is an automotive startup pioneering a three-wheeled, two-passenger vehicle expected to compete in the ultra-high mileage category beginning in late 2014. Once the agreement is finalized, Cooper intends to supply Elio tires as original equipment on the innovative vehicle, which Elio expects to achieve up to 84 miles per gallon.
Weighing about 1,200 pounds, the futuristic Elio runs on a three-cylinder, 55-horsepower, fuel-injected engine. The vehicle is expected to retail for approximately $6,800 and Elio plans to produce it in Shreveport, Louisiana, using components primarily made in North America.
“We are delighted to have Cooper as our tire supplier. This letter of intent signifies a step forward in American manufacturing and assembly. We are proud that the Cooper tires supplied for the Elio will be manufactured in a U.S. plant and our vehicle will be manufactured in Shreveport, creating American jobs,” said Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors. “Elio Motors is determined to use only quality suppliers while pioneering this affordable new road in the automotive industry. We cannot underestimate the importance of a quality tire in making a vehicle both enjoyable and safe to drive.”
“Continued innovation is critical in the automotive business, and Cooper is excited to be working with Elio to develop an innovative tire design to be manufactured in one of our U.S. plants,” said Chris Ostrander, President, North America Tire Division. “Cooper shares Elio’s commitment to this vehicle promoting a sustainable environment. By supplying tires with Cooper’s low rolling resistance technology, Cooper will make a significant contribution toward helping Elio achieve its goal of 84 miles per gallon.”About Elio Motors Inc. Elio Motors was born out of Paul Elio’s vision for an efficient and affordable revolutionary vehicle. The American made, three-wheel vehicle boasts 84 mpg on the highway and 49 mpg in the city, plus an anticipated 5-star safety rating. At $6,800, this vehicle is for everyone. For more information, please visit http://www.eliomotors.com or www.facebook.com/ElioMotors. About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper has joint ventures, affiliates and subsidiaries that also specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies located in 11 countries around the world. For more information on Cooper Tire, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.