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Accuride posts 4th-qtr. loss but eyes long-term growth

Keywords: Tags  Accuride, 2012 losses, aluminum wheels, steel wheels, wheels, commercial vehicles, Rick Dauch, 2013 forecast Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Accuride Corp., which manufactures wheels and wheel-end components for commercial vehicles, recorded a net loss of $156.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $178 million for the year ended Dec. 31. Those losses reflected one-time impairment charges related to goodwill and other assets at its Gunite business unit, as well as other charges.

The Evansville, Ind.-based company’s net sales dropped 27.3 percent to $176.3 million in the fourth quarter due to weaker quarterly economic conditions, while its full-year sales fell less than 1 percent to $929.8 million.

Although truck builders cut production schedules during the second half of 2012, Accuride executives suggested the industry cycle is at or near its bottom. “The majority of our capital investments and restructuring activities are now complete, positioning our business units to compete aggressively in the marketplace now and during the expected industry upturn in the second half,” president and chief executive officer Rick Dauch said, citing industry estimates pointing to a recovery in Class 5-8 truck and trailer builds in the latter half of 2013.

Dauch also believes Accuride will win back market share by having added aluminum wheel capacity; repairing quality issues at its drum manufacturing operation; becoming more reliable in terms of product, process and quality engineering; and introducing new products, he said.

In addition, he noted that salespeople, including himself, have been visiting fleet owners large and small—some of whom had never seen an Accuride representative before—in order to obtain new business. Dauch said that he expects to announce new-business wins beyond those outlined in January (, Jan. 22) soon.

At Gunite, he said, “We lost our reputation customer by customer over the last four years, and we have to win back (business) customer by customer, but in rapid fashion.” Looking even further out, Dauch predicted global growth on a selective basis “once we fix our core American business.”

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