Alcoa already has a full wheel manufacturing, distribution, sales and service network in China and plenty of wheel-making facilities elsewhere in the world, such as North America, Europe and Japan.

The Suzhou Wuzhong Economic Development Zone and local governments helped Alcoa set up the plant, which opened ahead of schedule.

Having established a sales operation in Shanghai in 2004, Alcoa has expanded its sales network into Guangzhou, Beijing, Jinan and Suzhou.

Depressed aluminium prices and charges related to environmental remediation and legal settlement prompted a US$143 million loss for Q3 2012 compared with profits of $172 million for the same period in 2011.