Unprecedented Growth Expected for Automotive Aluminum as Multi-Material Vehicles Ascend, New Survey of Automakers Says

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DETROIT, July 31, 2017 – Over the next decade, automakers will continue to increase the adoption of high-strength, low weight aluminum in new car and truck construction at a faster pace than any time in history. Total aluminum content is expected to grow from 397 pounds per vehicle (PPV) in 2015 to 565 PPV by 2028, representing 16 percent of total vehicle weight, according to a survey of automakers conducted by Ducker Worldwide reaffirming continued market share growth for aluminum into high-volume vehicles. This is consistent with the emerging trend of automakers transitioning to a multi-material vehicle (MMV) design approach, choosing aluminum for doors, hoods and trunk lids, body-in-white, bumpers and crash boxes.

“Aluminum remains the fastest growing automotive material over competing materials and is entering its most unprecedented growth phase since we’ve been tracking the shifting mix of automotive materials,” said Abey Abraham of Ducker Worldwide. “To further improve fuel economy, battery range,safety and overall driving performance, automakers no longer default to a single material and instead are pursuing a multi-material design approach where the best material is chosen for the best application. This design evolution is what’s driving aluminum’s increased market penetration in the auto sector.”

“As our automotive customers embrace a multi-material approach to new car and truck design, that directly translates to increased amounts of aluminum. On top of 40 years of uninterrupted growth, the aluminum industry is experiencing a level of sustained growth not seen before in any market or product sector. However, the true winners of this change are American consumers who can choose next-generation cars and trucks that are high performing, efficient, safe, sustainable and more fun to drive,”said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “A thriving aluminum sector is vital to automakers, the nation’s manufacturing base and a healthy U.S. economy. The aluminum industry invested or committed more than $2 billion to ensure increased capacity in the U.S. since 2013, and the industry is prepared to continue such investments in domestic manufacturing jobs as demand continues to grow.”

2020 Projections
The study finds that total aluminum content for North American lightweight vehicles will increase to nearly 9 billion pounds, averaging 466 PPV by 2020, an increase of 69 pounds from 2015. Aluminum parts will more than double with aluminum hoods expected to reach 71 percent penetration (up from 50% today). Fifty percent of total aluminum content growth from 2015 to 2020 will be driven by closures, crash management systems, steering knuckles and structural vacuum die cast parts. Aluminum vacuum die castings are expected to grow from less than three PPV today to 14 PPV by 2020. The average passenger car will contain 362 pounds of aluminum and the average light truck will contain 523 pounds of aluminum by 2020.

2020 to 2028
Ducker projects total aluminum content growing to 565 PPV (16% of curb mass) by 2028 with nearly 25 percent of vehicles having partial aluminum body-in-white. More than two million of those vehicles will be pickup trucks and 400,000 will have plug-in hybrid or zero-emissions powertrains. Forecasts for the 2020 to 2028 time period are based on EPA and NHTSA technology implementation pathways suggesting mass reduction from zero percent for some passenger cars and small SUVs to 20 percent for large trucks and SUVs to achieve an overall industry average mass reduction of 7 percent (270 pounds) by 2025. Empirical evidence from Ducker’s research suggests achieving 7 percent curb mass reductions is likely to be delayed to 2028 due, in part, to new model launch timing constraints with several vehicles expected to launch post-2024 with significant aluminum body content. Under either scenario, a multi-material approach is the expected pathway with aluminum contributing to more than 50 percent of total mass reduction.

Brock added, “It is proven that vehicles made lighter with aluminum offer consumers better fuel economy, improved safety and enhanced performance. Furthermore, aluminum is the best choice for the environment when compared to both traditional and advanced steels, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oakridge National Laboratory.”

Since 1996, the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) has commissioned global consulting and research firm Ducker Worldwide to conduct its triannual survey of automakers. This year’s “Aluminum Content in North American Light Vehicles 2016 To 2028” study is based on a top down analysis relying primarily on detailed in-person interviews with automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers, as well as data obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Center for Automotive Research. With its top down analysis, Ducker Worldwide determined mass reduction and material mix forecasts and examined the effect of fuel prices, vehicle mix, secondary weight savings, electrification, vehicle design and vehicle launch cadence on the amount of weight that is expected to be shed by vehicle type. To view the study, visit www.drivealuminum.org where other facts and research can also be found. Please also follow the ATG Twitter: @DriveAluminum.


About Ducker Worldwide
Ducker Worldwide, a premier consulting and research firm, is driven to help its clients achieve their most ambitious growth goals. Custom market intelligence, strategic consulting and financial advisory services are delivered by fully-engaged Ducker principals and a diverse team of global talent. With exclusive access to industry leaders and opportunities, Ducker applies robust analytics and critical thinking to every engagement, delivering unique, fact-based solutions for our clients – solutions which produce confident decisions to advance growth. Ducker is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, with offices around the world, including Paris, Berlin, London, Bangalore and Shanghai. Founded by William H. Ducker in 1961, Ducker celebrates more than 55 years in business.

About the Aluminum Association
Through its Aluminum Transportation Group, the Aluminum Association communicates the benefits of aluminum in ground transportation applications to help accelerate its penetration through research programs and related outreach activities. The ATG’s mission is to serve member companies and act as a central resource for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries on aluminum issues. Members of the ATG include: Alcoa Corporation, Aleris, Aluminum Precision Products Inc., Arconic, Constellium, Hydro, Kaiser Aluminum, Novelis Inc., Rio Tinto Alcan, Sapa Group and Tri-Arrows Aluminum. Visit us online at DriveAluminum.org, and follow us on Twitter @DriveAluminum.

The Aluminum Association Responds to Reopened Midterm Review on Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy and Co2 Emissions

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ARLINGTON, VA (March 15, 2017) — The Aluminum Association looks forward to working with President Trump and his administration on the review of light-duty vehicle fuel economy and emissions regulations for model years 2022-2025. Aluminum is the second-most used material in vehicles today and a key technology for automakers looking to continue to improve vehicle fuel economy safely and affordably.

“Our members continue to see strong growth in the use of aluminum in cars and trucks as our customers increasingly see mass reduction as the best strategy to build the fleet of the future,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Lighter, stronger vehicles create value for the customer in addition to savings at the pump, including improved performance and increased safety.”

For more than 40 years, the use of aluminum in automobiles has grown continuously and is expected to continue strong growth in coming years. Vital to the nation’s domestic manufacturing base, aluminum companies have invested or committed $2.8 billion in U.S. plant expansions since 2013, driving investments that help create American jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy.

We believe the review process should:

  • Embrace a Data-Driven Approach: Decision-making must be fact-based and driven by credible data.
  • Spur Competition and Innovation: A regulatory environment that accelerates the use of advanced technologies, like aluminum and other high-strength, low-weight materials is a victory for consumers.
  • Support Mass Reduction Without Downsizing: Vehicle size is proven to be a more important safety determinant than weight. Any revised rule should maintain the current call for mass reduction given benefits to consumers and the nation.

The Aluminum Transportation Group Announces New Leadership

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September 26, 2016 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) today announces its new Chairman John Thomas, global marketing manager of automotive at Alcoa. Preceding Thomas is Tom Boney who was recently promoted to vice president of North American operations at Novelis. Ganesh Panneer, vice president and general manager of automotive, North America, Novelis, assumes the role of ATG vice chairman.

“These new appointments will ensure that the aluminum industry’s transportation group remains well-positioned as the adoption of aluminum solutions continues to accelerate across the auto sector,” said Heidi Brock, Aluminum Association president and CEO. “The Aluminum Association thanks Tom Boney for his leadership as Chairman and welcomes our new Chairman John Thomas and Vice Chairman Ganesh Panneer.”

Since 2014, Boney served as chairman of the ATG, steering the group through a phase of marked growth in body structures and closure parts in the automotive sector thanks in part to the introduction of the world’s first high-volume aluminum-bodied pickup. With Boney at the helm, the ATG remained an advocate for fact-based discussions on the benefits of lightweighting with aluminum to increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions in passenger cars and trucks.

Thomas brings more than 20 years of engineering and commercial experience to the ATG, having been integral to the design and development of key lightweighting components for the automotive industry. Joining Alcoa in 2008, Thomas has been responsible for Alcoa’s global rolled products largest accounts with automakers and multi-national tier one customers. Today, he helps shape Alcoa’s product and technology innovation strategies.

“It is a privilege to assume this leadership role as the aluminum industry embarks on the next phase of growth to help shape the future of automotive design,” said Thomas. “Aluminum solutions are tougher, safer, more environmentally sustainable, and create greater design flexibility for automakers. It’s an exciting time to help lead the industry forward to even greater success.”

Panneer brings 17 years of industry experience in sales, operations, strategy and product management to the ATG vice-chair role. Panneer began his career with Novelis in 2011 as director of corporate strategy, transitioning into the North America automotive director of sales position. In 2013, he moved to Europe as vice president and general manager of specialties for the region. In September 2016, he was promoted to lead Novelis’ North American automotive business, including sales activities, program launch and development, supply chain and logistics, service and order fulfillment, and demand forecasting.

“I am honored and humbled to join the ATG executive team, a group of leaders I’ve enjoyed collaborating with over the years,” said Panneer. “During this important time for our industry, we will continue to work with OEMs and partners to meet their needs for innovative lightweighting solutions.”

Fueled by more than 40 years of consistent growth, aluminum promises to play an even larger role during the next decade as the material helps automakers address today’s efficiency challenges while achieving tomorrow’s vision. Through its newly redesigned website, DriveAluminum.org, monthly newsletters and Twitter account (@DriveAluminum) the ATG communicates the benefits of aluminum and provides up-to-date information on the metal’s accelerated penetration in transportation applications.

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About the Aluminum Association
Through its Aluminum Transportation Group, the Aluminum Association communicates the benefits of aluminum in ground transportation applications to help accelerate its penetration through research programs and related outreach activities. The ATG’s mission is to serve member companies and act as a central resource for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries on aluminum issues. Members of the ATG include: Alcoa Inc., Aleris, Aluminum Precision Products, Constellium, Hydro, Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, Novelis Inc., Pennex, Rio Tinto and Sapa. Visit us online at DriveAluminum.org and follow us on Twitter @DriveAluminum.

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