Maxion Wheels doubles capacity in Turkey
The world’s largest vehicle wheel manufacturer, Maxion Wheels, has completed its project to double production of cast aluminium wheels in Manisa, Turkey, near the city of Izmir. With this week’s official opening ceremony for the facility – which is promoted as a second plant – annual capacity has increased to four million units. This means the Manisa site is not only the company’s largest in this product segment, rather it is – along with the Borbet facility in Bad Langensalza, Germany – the industry’s largest plant in Europe.
In July 2006 the “Hayes Lemmerz Inci Inc.” joint venture plant, 40 per cent owned by Turkey’s Inci Holding, officially opened. The Manisa site has served and will continue to primarily serve European, including Turkish, original equipment business, along with a small quantity of offtake business.
Hayes Lemmerz’s decision to invest in the Manisa site and in the doubling of cast aluminium wheel production capacity was made, incidentally, some time before it knew about its sale in autumn 2011, a deal that closed at the start of this year. The decision by the new Iochpe-Maxion (now Maxion Wheels’ 100 per cent parent company) shareholders to continue with the project, even though the firm’s background lies in the steel wheel sector, can be considered a sign of the company’s commitment to the passenger car cast aluminium wheel segment.
With a global capacity of 14 to 15 million passenger car wheels, Maxion Wheels – who is almost exclusively involved in OEM business in this segment – is close behind European market leaders Borbet and Ronal, and in approximately fifth place on the global league table.