ROMULUS, Mich.-The 17-day strike earlier this year at General Motors Corp. had a chilling effect on Hayes Wheels International Inc.'s results for the first quarter, ended April 30. The maker of steel and aluminum automotive wheels saw its net income for the period plunge 26.5 percent to $6.1 million, as sales slipped 2.2 percent to $156.2 million.
Had it not been for the GM strike, the company estimated its first-quarter sales would have improved about 5 percent to $168 million.
President and CEO Ron Cucuz said, besides the strike, earnings were negatively impacted by ``an equipment issue in March on our fabricated aluminum line at our Romulus facility.''
That problem has since been resolved and the company said it expects sales and earnings growth for the remainder of the year.