Wheel maker Dicastal's Michigan plant raided by FBI

·2 min read

The FBI raided western Michigan wheel manufacturing outfit Dicastal North America on Monday. The Chinese-owned manufacturer is a major supplier of automotive wheels and has been operating in Greenville, Mich., since 2015, the local Daily News newspaper reported.

The FBI has not released any information about the raid apart from acknowledging that it was executing a warrant at the company's Michigan location. The documents relating to the warrant are sealed, according to FBI Public Affairs Officer Mara Schneider.

According to the Detroit Free Press, agents sent employees home and seized office computers.

Dicastal manufactures aluminum alloy wheels for Ford, GM, Stellantis, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. It was GM's Supplier of the Year in 2019.

TV station WZZM-13 spoke with a couple of former Dicastal employees, who offered only vague indications of what might be going on. Their comments were so generic they could be chalked up to typical complaints that line workers might have, and could have nothing to do with the FBI raid. The TV station said the former workers were not surprised to hear the FBI had raided the business.

"There’s thousands of people between plant one and plant two," a former employee who did not want to be identified told the station. "It’d suck if they lost their jobs, but at the same the time, they [Dicastal] shouldn’t get away with doing what they’re doing."

That person said the facility had "super stressful" working conditions. "There were times me and my friends would be crying out on the line, because it was way too much to handle," the former employee said. "Everything about it was horrible."

And that former employee said workers were scared to voice concerns. "I want to see justice served to them because it serves them right. It really does."

Jasmine Christensen, another former employee, said,  "It’s not a bad company, it's just they made some bad choices. I liked the people, I really did, but I didn’t like what they were doing. Safety reasons concerned me."

She said she can think of several reasons why the FBI would search the plant.

Greenville is a town of about 9,000 people northeast of Grand Rapids, in Montcalm County. Dicastal's facility has been operating there since 2015.

"If it were to shut down, it would impact Greenville a lot," said Christensen.

Dicastal North America is owned by CITIC Dicastal Co., which is itself a subsidiary of state-owned Chinese investment fund CITIC Group. At 27% market share, CITIC Dicastal is the biggest player in the aluminum wheel market in China, where 70% of the world's wheels are manufactured.



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