Commercial-vehicle wheel manufacturer Accuride Corporation is taking a majority stake in Gianetti Ruote S.r.l., a steel wheel manufacturer operating near Milan, Italy. The size of the new holding was not announced, though Accuride agreed to invest €19.75 million ($21.6 million) over the next three years to improve the production plant at Ceriano Laghetto, in exchange for its ownership position.
The Italian plant will operate as part of Accuride’s global Wheels business, headed by Scott Hazlett, senior vice president, Operations.
At its plants in the U.S. and Mexico, Accuride manufactures cast steel and forged aluminum wheels for heavy-duty commercial truck and trailer OEMs, commercial vehicle fleets, and distributors in the commercial vehicle aftermarket.
The company has recent experience modernizing its own plants: starting in 2011 it invested an estimated $150 million to update its wheel manufacturing and finishing capabilities. Other projects have been undertaken to modernize its iron and steel casting operations at Rockford, IL, and Brillion, WI.
“We will improve the competitiveness and profitability of the business by combining select strategic investments with our rigorous quality and lean manufacturing systems to help the Gianetti wheel-production facility achieve world-class levels of quality and operational excellence,” explained Accuride president and CEO Rick Dauch.
The buyer noted the partnership it is forming with CLN Group to manage Gianetti Ruote will give it “immediate long-term supply contracts with key global OEM customers in Europe,” advancing its strategy to supply to steel wheels to the global commercial vehicle industry.
Similarly, CLN’s CEO Gabriele Perris Magnetto said the agreement with Accuride would be “an opportunity for Gianetti to be not only a European player, but a global one.”
CLN Group manufactures and distributes automotive parts, including structural parts and welded assemblies; powertrain parts; and steel wheels. Gianetti Ruote operates as unit of the MW Italia wheels division, producing steel wheels from 16 to 24 in. diameter for trucks, buses, and trailers, and steel and alloy rims for motorcycles. Its current customers include Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN, and Volvo.
“Acquiring a majority stake in Gianetti Ruote establishes Accuride as a Tier One wheel supplier to Europe’s leading commercial vehicle OEMs,” according to Dauch. “The partnership enables us to strengthen relationships with our global OEM customers by serving their needs in Europe, build closer ties to key regional OEMs and grow Gianetti’s business.