Superior Industries to Close Wheel Casting Plant
January 16, 2009
Released on January 13, 2009
Automotive wheel supplier Superior Industries International Inc., Van Nuys, Calif., announced it will close the metalcasting facility it operates in Van Nuys by the end of the second quarter of 2009.
Superior produces aluminum automotive wheels in both the forging and metalcasting processes. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the Van Nuys facility makes cast wheels.
A press release issued by Superior indicated the closing represented an effort to reduce costs and lower capacity to match shrinking demand for light vehicles. The company continues to operate five other casting and forging operations in North America, as well as a joint venture in Hungary. Superior expects the remaining plants will be sufficient to meet customer demand.
The closure will eliminate approximately 290 jobs, or 9% of Superior’s total work force, and save approximately $16.5 million in annual labor costs. The move also will incur severance and other associated costs of approximately $2.1 million. The company estimated the net book value of the manufacturing equipment and related fixed assets at the Van Nuys plant at $17.4 million.
“Closing the Van Nuys plant, where we launched our OEM aluminum wheel business over 30 years ago, and losing many loyal and long-term employees, makes this decision particularly difficult,” said Steven Borick, the company’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “Nevertheless…we are committed to coming out of this unprecedented business downturn as a stronger, leaner company.”
Superior counts Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Seat, Skoda, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo as customers.