manufacturer Accuride Corp. has been very clear on how the
falloff in truck build rates has affected its business as the
North American industry struggles to work off an excess
inventory of finished vehicles after it overbuilt for its
"Class 8 truck orders have been
very weak, which has caused OEMs (original equipment
manufacturers) to significantly reduce their build schedules
during the third and fourth quarters," president and chief
executive officer Richard Dauch told investors. "Volumes are
down at least 25 to 30 percent in the second half of the year
compared to the first."
The Evansville, Ind.-based
manufacturer of aluminum and steel wheels, brake drums, iron
castings and other vehicle components is consolidating its
Imperial Group operations in Texas and Tennessee into one
facility by the end of March. Imperial produces truck bodies
"We are negotiating with
customers to address money-losing products at our Tennessee and
Texas facilities, and if we cant reach an agreement we
will look to exit some of that business," Dauch said.
Accurides Gunite business,
which makes wheels, drums, hubs and rotors, has been negatively
impacted "by the loss of (standard equipment status at) both
Navistar (International Corp.) and Paccar (Inc.) and the
continued offshore competition pressure we feel at both Gunite
and in the steel wheels part of the aftermarket business,"
Accuride, which has reduced its
corporatewide head count by 14 percent, is accelerating the
closure of Gunite plants in Elkhart, Ind., and Brillion, Wis.,
this quarterclosures that originally were scheduled for
the first quarter of 2013. "We also plan to take extended
downtime during November and December at most of our
operations," Dauch said.
The order backlog and revenue
for Accurides Brillion Iron Works unit, which makes
castings for diesel engines, commercial vehicles and energy
applications, has fallen about 40 percent on a monthly basis,
Although its been "one of
the steepest and most rapid declines weve seen in a long
time," the company said, its merely a near-term weak
trend "rather than a long-term cyclical downturn."
"If we cant find a path
within 24 to 36 months to have money being made at a plant,
that plant wont survive. It will be closed," Dauch said.
"If we have products that we cant make money on, we will
exit those products."