Accuride Increasing North American Capacity And Capabilities With Major Investments In 2011-2012

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.

Steel Wheel Improvements

The OEM and aftermarket leader in steel wheels, Accuride’s Wheels business unit has demonstrated strong service and financial performance. For 2012, the company will make targeted investments in machining, equipment, facility upgrades and engineering initiatives to further improve product and process quality. In addition, Accuride’s Lean Manufacturing initiatives are further reducing variation and cycle times.

Future Investments

The second phase of Accuride’s capital investment program, to be announced later this quarter, targets the Gunite wheel-end business unit that produces spoke wheels, hubs, rotors, full cast brake drums and automatic slack adjusters. These investments will address the production issues and capacity constraints that Gunite experienced during 2011. The resulting manufacturing improvements will boost Gunite’s capacity and throughput, and improve product quality.

About Accuride Corporation

With headquarters in Evansville, Ind., USA, Accuride Corporation is a leading supplier of components to the commercial vehicle industry. The company’s products include commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts, and other commercial vehicle components. The company’s products are marketed under its brand names, which include Accuride ® Wheels, Gunite ®, Imperial TM and Brillion TM. Accuride’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ACW. For more information, visit the Company’s website at http://www.accuridecorp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this news release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements regarding Accuride’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, and intentions with respect to future results. Such statements are subject to the impact on Accuride’s business and prospects generally of, among other factors, market demand in the commercial vehicle industry, general economic, business and financing conditions, labor relations, governmental action, competitor pricing activity, expense volatility and other risks detailed from time to time in Accuride’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those described in Item 1A of Accuride’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010. Any forward-looking statement reflects only Accuride’s belief at the time the statement is made. Although Accuride believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee its future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Except as required by law, Accuride undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or developments after the date of this news release.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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