Global and China Automotive Wheel Industry Report, 2014-2015 highlights the following:
In 2014, automotive wheel industry remained stable, but the market became increasingly divided, with low-cost cars adopting ever-cheaper steel wheels and premium models employing higher-priced aluminum wheels. North America and Europe performed excellently. Although with the highest growth in car sales globally, China found a declined installation rate of aluminum wheel, as more low-end auto models appeared on the market and carmakers tried to cut costs. Huge downward pressure on the Chinese economy caused decline in commercial vehicle sales, thus sharply slashing revenue and profits of companies of steel wheel for commercial vehicles.
The big players grow even bigger. During 2011-2013, these industry giants, fearing of overcapacity, rarely expanded their capacities. As time has shown, small players have no access to OEM market at all, while AM stagnates. From 2014, big companies started to feel a shortage of capacity and then expanded production aggressively.
The first mover CITIC Dicastal, the largest wheel maker in China, invested USD140 million in Dec. 2014 to build a production base with annual capacity of 3 million wheels in Greenville, Michigan. Following, the conservative Japanese player, Chuo Seiki, is expected to put its new North American base with investment of USD20 million into operation in Aug 2015.
Ronal, the second largest wheel maker in Europe, invested and built a new factory in Mexico in Nov 2014, which has a designed annual capacity of 2 million wheels, plans to hire 500 employees, and goes into production in the first quarter of 2016. Uniwheel, the third largest wheel company in Europe, decided to build a third factory in Poland in the second half of 2015, with designed capacity of 2 million wheels per year and expected to go into operation at the end of 2017.
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