WARSAW, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2001)—Aluminum wheel maker American Racing Equipment will close its Warsaw wheel plant by the end of the year, eliminating aout 200 jobs.
Production from the Warsaw plant, which manufactures primarily for original equipment accounts, will be transferred to other company facilities in California and Mexico by year-end, according to parent company Noranda Inc.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2001, American Racing's sales volume is off by 20 percent, to 2.27 million units, although sales revenue is down only about 10 percent to $102 million, Noranda said. Sales to OE customers are off 37 percent, while aftermarket sales are up 10 percent.
The plant primarily supplied aluminum wheels for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but lower orders from Jeep parent DaimlerChrysler A.G. and the general economic downturn had left the plant operating at only about one-fourth of capacity, a spokesman said.