Net income dropped by 17 percent in the first quarter when compared to a year ago for aluminum wheel maker Superior Industries International Inc.

The Van Nuys-based manufacturer reported net income of $6.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, on revenue of $202.5 million for quarter ending March 25. For the same period in the prior year Superior reported net income of $8.1 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, on revenue of $189.5 million.

Unit shipments during the quarter were 3.1 million, an 11 percent increase from the 2.8 million units shipped during the same period the year before.

Superior has reached operating stability as the automotive sector continues to recover and demand increases, said Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Steven J. Borick.

“Our factories performed extremely well in Mexico, and while we met very challenging volume requirements in our U.S. plants, there are still many steps to take in order to gain the improved cost leverage we believe is possible in our facilities,” Borick said in a prepared statement. “We remain fully committed to take necessary actions to improve the performance of our mid-west operations, where our challenges and improvement opportunities are the greatest.”

Mark R. Madler