Hayes Lemmerz to Add Aluminum Wheels for Trucks

Several designs, dimensions to debut in 2006

Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. states that its International and North American Wheel Groups will be adding low-pressure cast aluminum wheels for commercial trucks and trailers to their product lines. The company says its current plan is to have several truck wheel designs and dimensions available for 2006.

"Aluminum wheels are becoming widely accepted in European truck markets by offering weight savings versus steel wheels, improving fuel economy and increasing payload," explains Fred Bentley, president of the International Wheel Group. "Aluminum enables styling flexibility and functionality previously unavailable with steel wheels. In addition, this will allow our North American Wheel Group to further expand their product offering."

Products for European markets will be produced at Hayes’ plant in Dello, Italy, where it operates its European R&D center for aluminum wheels.

Hayes Lemmerz is the only wheel manufacturer in Europe that produces both steel wheels and aluminum wheels and serves both passenger vehicle and commercial truck segments. The company also produces brakes, powertrain, suspension, structural, and other lightweight components, at 40 facilities around the world.

In North America, aluminum truck wheels will be produced at Gainesville, GA, where a OE truck program is also scheduled to launch in 2006.

Pieter Klinkers, vice president of sales said, "Hayes Lemmerz is the world's largest supplier of steel wheels for trucks, serving over 200 truck and trailer customers worldwide. We have 11 aluminum wheel plants in five continents. The market for aluminum wheels for trucks is growing and is currently dominated by a single competitor. We believe that our customers are seeking a reliable, existing supplier that can offer them an alternative source for aluminum wheels. The fact that we are already a part of their supply base with steel wheels is an advantage for both parties."

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