Accuride Corporation (NYSE: ACW) – a leading supplier of components to the commercial vehicle industry – today reported that the company expects to make additional investments of approximately $75 million in 2012 to strengthen product availability, quality and reliability; upgrade its manufacturing processes; and improve customer service. Accuride President and CEO Rick Dauch made the announcement during a briefing at the 2012 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week Conference. Accuride’s 2012 North American investments support its position as the leading supplier of steel and aluminum wheels to the commercial vehicle aftermarket and build upon the company’s $35 million investment in 2011 to increase its aluminum wheel production capacity. “Accuride is committed to being a reliable and dependable supplier of steel and aluminum wheels and wheel-end components for our OE and aftermarket customers,” said Dauch. “We made solid progress in boosting our production capacity last year, and are stepping up our investments to extend and accelerate that progress throughout 2012. These investment plans further demonstrate our continuing commitment to improve product quality and ensure availability to meet growing demand by our customers and the industry. We won’t be satisfied until Accuride becomes the premier supplier of wheel-end system solutions to the global commercial vehicle industry.” The first phase targets new machining lines and related equipment in the Wheels business and is already underway. A second phase involves improvements at Accuride’s Gunite operations. Aluminum Wheel Expansion Accuride is aggressively expanding its production capacity as aluminum wheel demand continues to grow in North America. Accuride plans $20 million of aluminum wheel capacity investments in 2012 that will include facility improvements, the installation of new machining lines and equipment, as well as the transfer of equipment among Accuride’s three aluminum wheel plants in Erie, Pa.; Camden, S.C.; and Monterrey, Mexico. These actions will optimize material flow, standardize wheel machining processes, and achieve greater surface-finish consistency for its aluminum-wheel product lines.
Once completed, Accuride’s 2012 investments will double the company’s aluminum wheel production capacity at its Monterrey and Camden plants. This will bring sufficient aluminum capacity online this year to meet the peak industry cycle demand expected in 2013-2014. Planned factory-flow improvements will further increase throughput from the newly-added wheel machining lines, enabling Accuride to achieve enhanced production performance for customers.These 2012 investments build upon Accuride’s significant actions in 2011 to increase aluminum wheel production, including:
- The June acquisition and re-launch of its aluminum wheel manufacturing facility in Camden, S.C.;
- The November launch of Accuride’s new Mega-Line at its Erie plant, which set a new industry benchmark in process technology; and
- The transfer of an aluminum wheel machining line to Accuride’s Monterrey plant, which made it Mexico’s only supplier of both steel and aluminum wheels for commercial vehicles.