Industries International Inc. plans an official groundbreaking
for its new aluminum wheel plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, on May
The Van Nuys, Calif.-based
aluminum wheel maker said it also has decided on the footprint
of the new facility.
"Im hoping to see us
turning dirt in the next 60 days," Superior executive vice
president and chief financial officer Kerry Shiba said during a
first-quarter earnings conference call with analysts.
Superior announced plans to
build the aluminum wheel manufacturing plant in Chihuahua in
April. The company said it plans to spend between $125 million
and $135 million on the facility, which will produce 2 million
to 2.5 million wheels per year (
amm.com, April 16).
"We are now going into a
full-blown negotiation process to get our final costs," Shiba
said. "That is really being undertaken over the next 30 days."
The new plant will be adjacent to the most recently constructed
of Superiors three wheel-making facilities in Chihuahua,
which will allow for cost savings that would have been
unavailable from a "more distant location."
Superior is building the new
plant as demand from North American automakers is rising and
the region becomes more cost-competitive, chairman, chief
executive officer and president Steven J. Borick said. "We
believe that, as we look at our competition overseas, there is
continued opportunity to take back market share."
But Superior still struggles
with capacity constraints, older equipment and higher costs at
its facilities in the United States, Borick said. "The margins
in the United States continue to be a difficult task." While
Superior doesnt want to "diminish" opportunities in the
United States, it also is looking to keep all of its lower-cost
plants in Mexico running at full capacity. "In some cases, we
try to push them even further," he said.