Vehicle wheel manufacturer Superior Industries will lay off about 250 employees at its Fayetteville plant, said Steve Clark, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. That number equals roughly 85% of the plant’s workforce.
The employees received a letter Wednesday (Sept. 18) stating their jobs at the plant are expected to end between Nov. 16 and June 1. The plant is expected to retain its technical center and service parts distribution. In the short-term, it also will keep clear-coating operations.
“We have a strong and talented team in Fayetteville, but our facility has not operated at capacity nor has it won meaningful business awards for several years as we encountered many industry and competitive headwinds,” wrote Rick Quinlan, director of operations for the Fayetteville plant. “After careful evaluation, we determined that it was necessary to consolidate our manufacturing operations in North America to maximize Superior’s competitiveness in the market.”
Clark said he was surprised to learn of the layoffs but explained that in recent years the company has been closing plants in North America, including a plant in Rogers, and shifting production to Mexico. At one time, the company had more than 1,000 employees in Northwest Arkansas.
The chamber is available as a source to help the employees find other work in the city, and he said enough jobs for skilled labor should be available for the employees in Northwest Arkansas. He noted that the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce will host a job fair Oct. 2 at the Frisco Station Mall in Rogers.
The Fayetteville plant has operated for more than 30 years.