By Jerry Underwood
Made in Alabama
Wheel Pros, a U.S. aftermarket wheel supplier, has acquired the assets of an aluminum wheel manufacturing facility in Auburn and plans to open its second U.S. operation there.
“We welcome Wheel Pros to Alabama and congratulate them on choosing Auburn to establish their largest U.S. manufacturing presence,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “This multimillion-dollar investment will add 300 new jobs and represents another feather in the cap of our state’s growing automotive industry.”
Alabama is globally recognized as a major contributor in automotive assembly and engine manufacturing, and the state has a rapidly growing supplier network. Nearly 1 million cars and light trucks are produced in Alabama annually, along with more than 1.5 million engines.
“This investment secures our position as a leader in our industry and provides us with full control of the entire manufacturing process, ensuring that our customers receive nothing but the best-quality products,” said Randy White, CEO and co-founder of Wheel Pros.
“This was the ideal opportunity for expansion — the manufacturing assets and experienced workers are already in place. We look forward to joining the Alabama automotive sector and the Auburn community,” he said.
Colorado-based Wheel Pros is the only branded automotive aftermarket wheel supplier with cast wheel manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. The company designs, manufactures and distributes branded automotive aftermarket wheels, performance tires and accessories.
Wheel Pros expects production of cast aluminum wheels at the new Auburn facility to be up and running in the next few months. The company forecasts that its U.S. manufacturing operations will produce approximately 1.5 million wheels each year.
“Wheel Pros has joined a robust network of automotive manufacturers and suppliers that call our state home,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We are glad that the company sees the potential in Alabama for sustainable growth and long-term success.”
The company’s facility is in Auburn’s Technology Park North and operations include casting, machining and painting.
“We look forward to the impact Wheel Pros will have on East Alabama at a perfect time,” Auburn Mayor Ron Anders said. “We have a manufacturing facility and a workforce that are ready and more than able to meet the company’s needs.
“Wheel Pros’ arrival will bring more jobs to our community, which is great for our residents and our economy. We are grateful for Wheel Pros’ investment in our region,” he said.
Local business leaders also welcome Wheel Pros to the region.
“Wheel Pros is a welcomed addition to the city of Auburn/our local economy,” said Leslie Sanders, vice president of Alabama Power’s Southern Division. “This investment not only solidifies their position as a leader within the automotive space, but the addition of 300 new, high-quality jobs provides incredible opportunities for people throughout the region.
“Alabama Power’s work with Wheel Pros does not end with this announcement. Instead, we look forward to ways in which we can further enhance our partnership for years to come.”
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.