Wheels specialist Hayes Lemmerz International will close its aluminium wheel facility in Gainesville, Georgia by the end of December 2008.

The company said the closure was the result of global overcapacity in the light vehicle aluminium wheel market and increasing imports into North America from low cost countries.

The Gainesville facility, which began wheel production in July 1994, employs about 290 people. Some production will be moved to another company facility in Mexico.