Superior Industries Closing Van Nuys Aluminium Wheel Factory
US based aluminium wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International intends to close its factory in Van Nuys, California. In a statement published January 13, the company said the closure is taking place “in an effort to further reduce costs and more closely align its capacity with sharply lower demand for light vehicles.” Superior Industries added that its remaining five North American facilities and its Hungarian joint venture operation contain sufficient capacity to accommodate current and expected production requirements.
The company said the move will eliminate approximately 290 jobs, a figure representing 9 per cent of Superior Industry’s total work force, and save approximately US$16.5 million in annualised labour costs. Superior Industries expects the plant closure to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2009, and that severance and other associated costs of approximately $2.1 million will be incurred as a result. Asset impairment charges related to the closing have yet to be determined but the company expects them to be recorded in the fourth quarter ended December 28, 2008. As of this date, the net book value of manufacturing equipment and related fixed assets at the Van Nuys manufacturing facility was approximately $17.4 million.
“Closing the Van Nuys plant, where we launched our OEM aluminium wheel business over 30 years ago, and losing many loyal and long-term employees makes this decision particularly difficult,” said chairman, CEO and president, Steven Borick. “Nevertheless, it is imperative to right size our capacity in line with current and projected vehicle production while maintaining the leverage for future business opportunities. We are committed to coming out of this unprecedented business downturn as a stronger, leaner company.”
For the third quarter of 2008 Superior Industries announced a net loss of US$14.2 million. Last December its Pittsburg, Kansas factory was closes, with around 600 jobs lost as a result.