SAO PAULO—Iochpe Maxion S.A. has opened a plant near Sao Paulo for making aluminum light vehicle wheels and expanded capacity at a second plant in Brazil by 50 percent in response to growing demand.
The new plant, built adjacent to an existing steel wheel plant in Sao Paulo's Limeira district, is rated at 2 million aluminum wheels per year and will create 500 new jobs by 2020.
Maxion did not disclose its investment in the plant, which has been under construction since June 2014.
“Brazilian consumers are following the global trend for more sophisticated and stylish vehicles, which includes a growing demand for aluminum wheels on most new car models,” according to Marcos Oliveira, Iochpe-Maxion's CEO.
“Even in this moment of Brazil's severe economic crisis, Maxion Wheels continues to lead the wheel industry due to the commitment and effort put forth by our employees,” said Don Polk, president of Maxion Wheels for the Americas. “We can always count on our people to deliver only the highest level of excellence in our products and services.”
The new plant will open in two phases, Maxion said, starting at 800,000 wheels per year then ramping up to 2 million per year by 2020. The company's other wheel plant in Brazil is in Santo Andre.
Maxion claims to be the world's largest wheel manufacturer, producing 65 million wheels per year and generating sales of more than $2 billion. The wheel business is overwhelmingly original equipment-centric, accounting for 97 percent of revenue, according to Iochpe-Maxion data.