Leading vehicle wheel manufacturer Maxion Wheels announced earlier this week an agreement with China’s Dongfeng Motor Parts and Components Group Co., Ltd. to enter into a joint venture to build aluminium wheels for passenger cars.
In a statement, Maxion said the joint venture would be housed in a plant in Hubei Province. The facility, which is slated to open in the latter half of next year, will have a planned capacity of 2 million units per year.
Maxion says the plant will produce primarily low-pressure die cast aluminium wheels, including those featuring high-end finishes.
Marcos Oliveira, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxion’s parent company Iochpe-Maxion S.A, explained that the new plant aligns with the firm’s efforts at capturing market share on the continent.
“Growing our presence in Asia is one of Iochpe-Maxion’s priorities. Coupling Maxion Wheels’ global customer relationships and significant aluminum wheel expertise with Dongfeng Motor Parts and Components’ goal to expand its portfolio to include light vehicle aluminum wheels is the makings of a strong partnership. We are honored to join Dongfeng’s strong and dynamic organization and through our joint venture provide world-class aluminum wheels for our global and domestic Chinese OEM customers.”
In addition to expanding Maxion’s presence, the project is expected to be a boon to the local economy, as it will add another 450 jobs to the province in east-central China.
A division of Brazilian automobile parts manufacturer Iochpe-Maxion S.A., Michigan-based Maxion Wheels produces 56 million wheels each year, making it the world’s most prolific manufacturer. It operates over two dozen plants in over a dozen countries on five continents, producing wheels for cars, light and commercial trucks, trailers, agricultural equipment, military vehicles, and other on- and off-road applications.