Ube Industries, Ltd. (President: Kazumasa Tsunemi) today held a completion ceremony for its new aluminum wheel factory in Canada. Ube Industries has positioned aluminum wheel business as one of its four core businesses, and are concentrating its management resources in its core businesses. As a part of Ube Industries' global strategy in aluminum wheel business, the factory, located in Sarnia, Ontario, is owned and operated by UBE Automotive North America Sarnia Plant, Inc. ("UANA Sarnia"), a wholly owned subsidiary. The factory is overseen by Peter Corio, plant manager. Leading the Ube Industries representatives at the ceremony were president Kazumasa Tsunemi and managing executive officer Isao Tamura. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation for the Ontario provincial government was among the local dignitaries
UANA Sarnia will focus on meeting the growing need in North America for large-diameter aluminum wheels and chrome-plated wheels. The factory will use sophisticated manufacturing equipment to supply high-grade wheels not only to clients in North America but also to automakers in Japan and Europe. Projected annual output at Sarnia will rise to 2.2 million units by 2005.
Ube Industries' wheel business uses its own squeeze-process technologies, which produces lightweight and high-gleam wheels. To fully leverage this competitive advantage, Ube Industries is putting together a global manufacturing network as its basic strategy. UBE Group's global manufacturing facilities consist of U-Mold, Ltd. (Yamaguchi, Japan), UBE Automotive North America Mason Plant, Inc. (Ohio, USA) and UANA Sarnia, and UBE Automotive, Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) supervises the operations of those three plants for a globally optimum production. This centralized system allows UBE Automotive to quickly meet the technological, quality, price and service requirements of automakers operating on a global scale. UBE Group expects to raise its wheel output to 6 million units by 2005, thus firmly positioning Ube Industries among the world's leading suppliers in the market. In Europe, Ube Industries plans to open a sales office in 2002 to lay the groundwork for the launch of full-scale operations in the region. The goal is to rapidly establish a framework with the flexibility to serve automakers wherever they locate manufacturing facilities.