Superior Industries International Inc., headquartered in Van Nuys, California, announced Wednesday it will close its manufacturing facility at 1301 N. Dixieland Road in Rogers by the end of the year. The closure will eliminate 500 domestic jobs as the company ramps up its production capacity in Mexico.
The largest manufacturer of aluminum wheels for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles in North America, Superior said the move is being made to reduce costs and make it more competitive in the global market.
According to a press release issued by Superior, production will be shifted to other manufacturing facilities, including those in Fayetteville and Chihuahua, Mexico. The move is expected to generate $15 million in payroll savings year-over-year.
Ray Burns, president and CEO of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, said it’s a sad day for Northwest Arkansas.
“Superior has been there for 25 years and there are employees who have been there since day one,” Burns said. “We’re sorry to see those folks lose their jobs.”
Burns said it was only a matter of time until Superior pulled out.
“They’ve been investing in Mexico for a long time,” Burns said, citing tax and regulatory advantages that make it attractive for manufacturers to relocate to Mexico.
Don Stebbins, Superior’s president and CEO, said in the press release that the company had to make the move to maintain its place in a cutthroat market.
“This action follows a comprehensive review of the company’s cost position in what continues to be an intensely competitive environment,” he said. “Our board and management team remain focused on building an efficient, operationally stronger organization that can compete effectively with manufacturers around the globe. We appreciate the contributions of our team members at Rogers and will be providing assistance to them during the transition process.”