One of the last remaining domestic tire makers an agreement to merge with India-based Apollo Tyres last month and the process continues toward finalizing the $2.5-billion deal.
Yes, the suitor spells tire with a "y." We've tested their tires produced under their corporate umbrella from Vredestein; they offer solid performance but are pricey. Apollo also sells tires under its own brand name. (Visit our tire buying guide.)
Ohio-based Cooper has been around since 1914. Cooper is the 11th largest tire company in the world and has a strong reputation of selling premium and mid-tier tires through independent dealers across the country. The company also sells tires under the names Mastercraft, Starfire, Roadmaster and Avon. On the other hand, Apollo is a relative newcomer in the tire industry having been founded in 1972. Combined, Apollo and Cooper will become the 7th largest tire company in the world.
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Cooper tires have been a fixture in our rating evaluations for several years, and in recent times have had a number of stand-out models. Witness the top-rated Discoverer A/T3 all-terrain tire and the tied-at-the-top Zeon RS3-A ultra-high-performance all-season tire.
We are currently updating the ultra-high-performance (UHP) tire category and will again include the Cooper Zeon RS3-A all-season tire, Zeon RS3-S summer tire, and WeatherMaster Snow performance winter tire. Also in our test are the venerable Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme performance winter model and the UltracVorti summer tire.
It should be an interesting comparison, particularly now that the brands have a common bond.
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