American Axle & Manufacturing Inc.'s Tonawanda forge has won a contract to supply wheel parts for a Japanese-owned auto components company, a move that expands its customer base, the company said Wednesday.
The forge is producing wheel hubs and spindles for Koyo Corp. USA, a bearing manufacturer. The parts are delivered to Koyo factories in Orangeberg and Blythewood, S.C.
American Axle will supply Koyo with three parts, each with annual volumes of 200,000 to 400,000 pieces, the company said. The value of the contract was not disclosed.
"The new long-term forging business will help AAM diversify its customer base," said David C. Dauch, vice president for sales, marketing and capacity planning.
Production of the parts recently reached full volume, after being launched in the early part of this year, said Karen J. Manardo, manager of media relations and communications. The work is being done by the forge's current work force of about 800, she said.
The contract includes two hubs, one for the BMW Z3 Roadster and one for the Nissan Quest and Mercury Villager vans. The spindle -- a steel tube that is part of a front-end assembly connecting the wheel -- will be used on Ford's Lincoln LS and exported to England for Jaguar.
The export of some products helps American Axle expand its geographic reach, Dauch said.
The company has worked to broaden its customer base since being spun off from General Motors Corp. in 1994. It employs about 2,700 at plants in Tonawanda and Buffalo.