Overcapacity, Imports Cited in Hayes Lemmerz Plant Closing

Gainesville, GA, aluminum wheel plant to close this year

Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. will be closing an aluminum wheel plant, citing “global overcapacity” in the sector for light vehicle aluminum wheels, as well as a rising level of imports to North America from lower-cost production markets. The company said the closing is a part of its strategy “to continue to focus its business on the right products in the right geographic regions.”

The plant in Gainesville, GA, will close by the end of 2008. Some of its output will be reassigned to a Hayes Lemmerz plant aluminum wheel plant in Mexico.

Hayes Lemmerz operates 24 plants worldwide, producing automotive and commercial highway wheels and powertrain components.

The Georgia plant has been operating since 1994, and employs nearly 300. Hayes Lammerz president and CEO Curis Clawson said "the phase-out is a difficult but necessary step in our overall plan to provide our customers the highest quality products at competitive prices and to improve profitability. "

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