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Cooper Tire enters partnership with three-wheel vehicle OEM Elio

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, parent company of Avon Tyres, has signed a letter of intent to work with Elio Motors, Inc., of Troy, Mich.

Elio is an automotive startup that is developing a three-wheeled, two-passenger vehicle. Once the agreement is finalized, Cooper plans to supply its tires as original equipment on Elio vehicles.

The Elio vehicle, which is expected to be on the market in late 2014, weighs about 1,200 pounds, and it’s powered by a three-cylinder, 55 hp, fuel-injected engine. It’s anticipated to get about 84 miles per gallon. Elio plants to produce its vehicle in Shreveport, La., using components primarily made in North America. The MSRP will be about $6,800.

“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.”

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