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Alcoa opens commercial wheel plant in China

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Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products (AWTP) has opened a production facility in Suzhou, China, marking an expansion that creates a full wheel manufacturing, distribution, sales and service network in China.

The facility brings to China Alcoa’s forged aluminum wheel technology that manufactures lighter, stronger and more fuel efficient commercial truck, trailer and bus wheels, says Alcoa. This is Alcoa’s first wheel manufacturing facility in China, joins the company’s list of wheel facilities in North America, Europe and Japan.

“With the growth of China’s infrastructure and the success Alcoa’s wheel products have seen in the Chinese market over the past several years, it was a natural choice to further expand our global manufacturing footprint by building a facility that could manufacture our products locally,” says Tim Myers, AWTP president.

The plant, which is currently up and running with a trained work force, machines and finishes forged aluminum wheels for commercial vehicles. Forged wheels are made from solid metal providing an aligned grain structure with four times the strength of cast wheels. Cast wheels are made from molten metal and subject to porosity or tiny air bubbles in the wheel, notes Alcoa.

AWTP has had a presence in China since 2004, when it began selling wheels out of Shanghai. Since then, the business has grown to include an employee base in Guangzhou, Beijing, Jinan and Suzhou. Through additions to its distribution network earlier this year, Alcoa says it has built a robust sales and service presence capable of supporting all of China.

A grand opening ceremony is set for today. More information can be found at www.alcoawheels.com.

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