Van Nuys, California – Superior Industries International, a supplier of aluminum wheels to automotive manufacturers, will close its plant in Van Nuys, California to reduce costs and production. The closure will eliminate 290 jobs.

The plant employs nine per cent of Superior’s total workforce; the company said it will save approximately US$16.5 million in annualized labour costs. The facility should close completely by the end of the second quarter of 2009.

The company supplies wheels to Ford, GM, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Seat, Skoda, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Five plants remain in North America, along with a joint venture in Hungary.

“Closing the Van Nuys plant, where we launched our OEM aluminum wheel business over 30 years ago, and losing many loyal and long-term employees makes this decision particularly difficult,” said Steven Borick, chairman, CEO and president. “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.”

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