Superior Industries International Inc. will close its aluminum wheel manufacturing plant in Rogers, AR, by the end of this year, reducing its total workforce by 500. The California-based company indicated the shutdown is part of an initiative to reduce costs and enhance its global competitiveness.
The closing is forecast to generate labor-cost savings of $15 million in labor costs, year-over-year.
But, in addition to the labor costs saved, Superior said it would incur severance costs estimated at $2 million to $2.5 million this year. Asset and others costs relating to the closure have not yet been determined.
“This action follows a comprehensive review of the company’s cost position in what continues to be an intensely competitive environment,” stated Don Stebbins, the new president and CEO appointed in May to succeed Steven J. Borick, who retired in March.
Superior Industries calls itself “the largest manufacturer of aluminum wheels for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles in North America.” It has three other plants in Fayetteville, AR, Southfield, MI, and Chihuahua, Mexico, producing aluminum wheels for Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Chrysler Group LLC, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
In May 2013, Superior Industries broke ground for a second plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, a project it budgeted at $125- to $135 million. It estimated the additional capacity at 2 million to 2.5 million aluminum wheels.
In its statement on the Rogers plant closing, Superior said the scheduled production there would be shifted to the plants in Fayetteville and Chihuahua.
“Our board and management team remain focused on building an efficient, operationally stronger organization that can compete effectively with manufacturers around the globe,” Stebbins said.