Accuride Corporation, a leading supplier of components to the North American commercial vehicle industry headquartered in Evansville, IN, has announced that its "Fix and Grow" actions to restructure and upgrade core operations have improved operational performance and enabled the company to secure new long-term agreements for steel and aluminum wheels.
Rick Dauch, Accuride president and CEO, made the announcement during a news briefing Monday at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2013 in Las Vegas.
An annual event, HDAW is the largest North American gathering of the independent heavy duty industry.
Dauch joined Accuride in February 2011 and shortly thereafter launched a two-year, $150 million investment program to restructure and expand the company's core wheel and wheel-end component operations, and to upgrade the capabilities of each of its four business units.
These investments, he noted, included, among others:
- $55 million for additional aluminum wheel capacity.
- More than $35 million to restructure and upgrade its brake drum Gunite business.
- $21 million in environmental and safety-related facility upgrades.
"With its aluminum wheel manufacturing investments complete, Accuride has doubled its production capacity for forged aluminum wheels, while Gunite's program to install advanced machining and assembly equipment, upgrade casting and consolidate its manufacturing footprint is 90 percent complete," said Dauch.
Accuride also plans more than $30 million in steel wheel facility upgrades during 2013 to 2015 and will announce details of its 2013 capital program later this year.
Accuride's actions to restore the competitiveness and dependability of its core North American operations are resulting in marked gains in quality, delivery and lead-time performance, which are the metrics that matter most to customers, Dauch said.
Due to the resulting positive impact on customer confidence, Accuride recently earned new long-term agreements with several key customers representing more than 70 percent of its core wheel business.
Accuride also secured new aluminum wheel business of up to $30 million annually that it will serve using its newly-expanded aluminum capacity.
This leaves additional aluminum capacity open to enable Accuride to respond rapidly to growth in customer demand when the projected recovery in the North American commercial vehicle industry occurs in the second half of 2013.
Gunite's casting and machining upgrades, meanwhile, are generating opportunities for the business to regain share, said Dauch.
The company has been designated as a preferred aftermarket source by a key OEM and removed from new-business hold by all of its OEM customers, allowing fleets to specify Gunite products when ordering vehicles, he noted.
"Cast, machined and assembled in the USA, Gunite components are competitively priced to both domestic and off-shore alternatives, and are available at the industry's shortest lead-times on popular models," said Dauch.
"Thanks to the investments we have made in our core business, we are quickly regaining customers' faith in our ability to support their needs while positioning ourselves for the projected market recovery to come."
Accuride's products include commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts and other commercial vehicle components.
"It recently began by marketing products manufactured by the company's Accuride Wheels business (steel and forged aluminum wheels) and Gunite business (brake drums, disc wheel hubs, spoke wheels, rotors, and slack adjusters) jointly under the Accuride Wheel End Solutions brand to capitalize on the complementary nature of the two businesses' product lines to enhance customer service, ordering process, manufacturing, engineering, and overall dependability," said Dauch.
Other Accuride products are marketed under the Imperial and Brillion brand names.
For more information, visit www.AccurideCorp.com.
Under the agreement, VIPAR Heavy Duty will offer Accuride Wheels, Gunite wheel-end components and Imperial Group products.