Borick said Superior intends to invest approximately $125 million to $135 million to construct and equip the new manufacturing facility, which will have an initial capacity to produce between 2 million and 2.5 million wheels a year. The company currently produces approximately 12.5 million wheels annually. He said a specific site within Mexico still is being identified, with groundbreaking targeted for around the middle of 2013 and completion of construction anticipated about two years later. Architectural plans currently are underway. Borick said existing liquidity is adequate to fund the project, but the company is evaluating credit options.
Superior plans to make further enhancements to its existing operations in both the U.S. and Mexico. Capital expenditures amounted to $23 million in 2012, which was more than a one-third increase over the prior year. The company expects to increase the pace of reinvestment in current factories in 2013 with a goal to improve process capability and operating efficiency, especially in the U.S. More than two-thirds of capital expenditures in 2012, or almost $16 million, were invested in the company’s older manufacturing facilities in the U.S., which supported just under 40 percent of total unit sales volume for the past year.
“I am excited about this next milestone step for Superior and for our future prospects. We believe there are great opportunities to improve the company’s operating performance, which we believe should translate to enhanced shareholder value. We remain committed to retain our position as the premier aluminum wheel supplier to the North American automotive industry,” Borick added.
Consolidated selling, general and administrative expenses for 2012 were $27.7 million, compared with $25.9 million for 2011. The increase primarily reflected a $1.5 million benefit in 2011 for reduction in the deferred compensation liability. SG&A expense was 3 percent of net sales in both 2012 and 2011.