IRL: Johnny Unser named Cooper Tire advisor

Johnny Unser named Performance Tire Advisor to Cooper Tire. Racing pro to lend expertise to company's Ultra-High Performance and Racing product lines FINDLAY, Ohio, Feb. 17 -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:CTB) today announced it has...

Johnny Unser named Performance Tire Advisor to Cooper Tire.
Racing pro to lend expertise to company's Ultra-High Performance and Racing product lines

FINDLAY, Ohio, Feb. 17 -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:CTB) today announced it has engaged Johnny Unser as a technical consultant for its Ultra-High Performance and Racing tire product lines. Unser, son of racing veteran Jerry Unser and nephew of Al and Bobby Unser, joined the Indy Car circuit in 1993.

The addition of Unser will add valuable insight into the design and manufacture of tires purchased by consumers who value both performance and appearance, according to Carl Casalbore, VP Retail Sales and High Performance Tire Development for Cooper.

"Our research shows that drivers expect control, handling, performance as well as style, speed and energy in their tires," said Casalbore. "Who better to help us meet those expectations in a tire than Unser, whose career depends on all of those attributes."

Unser will work closely with Cooper's technology, research and sales teams to help create and market tires that deliver great quality, outstanding performance and exceptional value. Unser's experience with race tire performance will help Cooper transfer that technology to the consumer market.

"The technology and highly engineered performance and design that give Cooper racing tires excellent handling and control capabilities can also be applied to everyday driving," said Unser. "My role is to work with Cooper engineers to develop the highest-value, ultra-high performance tires for both car enthusiasts and those who race for a living. I'm proud to be associated with such a quality company."

Casalbore added that Unser's counsel also will be invaluable to Cooper Tire's independent dealers, wholesalers and retailers who want to offer their customers an affordable and reliable option in performance tires.

"Our distribution network tells us that consumers are becoming more interested in their tires, especially in the growing sports car, sport SUV, and performance-car markets. Today's drivers view tires as true extensions of their cars. So if they buy cars for safety, performance and style, they should expect the same in their tires," he said. "Johnny's expertise enables Cooper technology to deliver on that expectation."

For years, Cooper has been a leader in the development of motorsport tires under the Avon brand name, directly resulting in new technology and performance attributes being applied to its road tire brands both in the U.S. and Europe. The Cooper-Avon Tyres Racing Division enjoys a worldwide reputation for success on the track, and supplies race tires for F.I.A., Formula 3000 and the global Formula Ford series. The popularity and reputation of Avon racing tires continues to grow as more than 100 overall Championship winners are regularly recorded each year in more than 27 countries.

Company Description
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, with headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, specializes in the manufacture and marketing of automotive products including auto, motorcycle and truck tires, inner tubes, tread rubber and equipment. Cooper-Standard Automotive is an original equipment supplier of sealing, trim, NVH control systems and fluid handling systems for the automotive industry in North America, Europe, Australia and South America. Cooper has more than 20,000 employees and 52 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries. In 2002, Cooper tied for "Best Customer Satisfaction in Replacement Tire for Light Truck Vehicles" in the J.D. Power and Associates' Replacement Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. For more information about Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com .

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Johnny Unser