Wescast Industries Inc.

Wescast Industries Inc.

April 06, 2006 16:58 ET

Wescast Announces Asian Expansion Plans

BRANTFORD, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 6, 2006) - Wescast Industries Inc. ("Wescast") (TSX:WCS.SV.A) announced today the signing of an investment agreement with the Administration Committee of Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone ("Wuhan EDZ") which provides for the establishment of an integrated foundry and machining facility in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

"We believe that we will be able to leverage our strategic locations to grow over the long term and meet the needs of our customers in each key automotive market," said Ed Frackowiak, Chairman and CEO. "The establishment of a manufacturing facility in Asia provides direct access to the growing Asian market and complements Wescast's existing manufacturing operations in North America and Europe."

Wuhan was strategically selected as the best location for Wescast's entry into Asia after a comprehensive analysis by Wescast of over 400 Chinese economic development zones. "We believe our strong relationship with the Wuhan EDZ officials, as well as the benefits that this location offers, should provide a very positive environment in which to succeed in China," said Jay McNaughton, Vice President, Strategic Development.

Wescast plans to enter China in a staged fashion; first with the establishment of a machining facility that is expected to begin production in 2007, followed by a foundry facility that is expected to begin operating in 2008. Undertaking this expansion in a staged approach provides the Company with appropriate time to further develop customer relationships and to develop local management and operational resources. It is expected that the initial investment will be approximately $40 million USD over the next two years.

About Wescast

Wescast Industries Inc. is the world's largest supplier of exhaust manifolds for passenger cars and light trucks. The Company designs, casts, machines and assembles high-quality engineered iron products for automotive original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") and Tier 1 customers for the car and light truck markets in North America and Europe. The Company employs approximately 1,900 people in 7 production facilities and 3 sales and design centres in Canada, the United States and Germany. The Company also has sales and technical design representation in the United Kingdom, France and Japan. The Company is recognized worldwide for its quality products, innovative design solutions and highly committed workforce.

Learn more at www.wescast.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Wescast and its representatives may periodically make written or oral statements that are "forward-looking", including statements included in this news release and in our filings with applicable Securities Commissions and in reports to our stockholders. These statements may be identified by words such as "believe," "anticipate," "project," "expect," "intend," "plans" or other similar expressions, and include all statements which address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate may occur in the future (including statements relating to future sales or earnings expectations, volume growth, awarded sales contracts and earnings per share expectations or statements expressing general optimism about future operating results). Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause unanticipated events and actually evolve to be materially different from those either expressed or implied. These factors include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the automotive industry, production, marketing and transportation such as loss of market, volatility of prices, currency fluctuations, environmental risks, competition from other producers and ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources; as a consequence, actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. For more detailed information regarding these risks you may refer to Wescast's publicly filed documents with applicable Canadian securities authorities. Wescast undertakes no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Wescast Industries Inc.
    Mr. Ed Frackowiak
    Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
    (519) 750-0000