Alcoa has announced it will invest US$13 million (€9.3 million) to expand its wheel manufacturing plant in Europe to meet growing demand in the commercial vehicle sector.
The expansion of the company’s Székesfehérvár, Hungary facility will enable Alcoa to produce twice as many Dura-Bright EVO surface-treated wheels in Europe by early 2015, compared with current production levels.
“Demand for Alcoa’s forged aluminium wheels continues to grow in Europe, as emissions regulations drive up the need for stronger, lighter and easier-to-maintain wheels that increase payload, reduce maintenance costs and enhance sustainability,” said Tim Myers, President, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “Additional capacity at our manufacturing facility in Hungary positions us to capture this growth.”
According to Alcoa, the new Dura-Bright EVO surface-treated wheel is “10 times more resistant to corrosion”, primarily caused by road salts and weather elements. In addition, the wheel is up to three times more resistant to chemicals, including hydrofluoric acid, which can be found in truck wash-cleaning agents.
Construction on the production line expansion began in January 2014, with completion expected in early 2015. It will create 35 new permanent jobs and approximately 215 temporary jobs during construction. Alcoa said the Hungarian Government will contribute US$4.4 million (€3.1 million) toward the construction through its Regional Operative Program, a government-led economic development initiative.
Commenting on the importance of Alcoa to the Hungarian economy, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szíjjártó, said, “One of the most important players of the Hungarian-American economic cooperation’s success story is Alcoa, bringing innovation-based, high added-value production into Hungary.”
“This expansion will add to Alcoa’s successful portfolio of Hungarian businesses that produce value-added products for the automotive and aerospace industries,” said Dr. Bela Forgo, Country Manager of Alcoa Hungary. “We are pleased to grow our presence in Hungary, a country with a highly skilled workforce and industrial policies supporting investment and technological development.”