Detroit – Aluminium use in European cars almost tripled between 1990 and 2012 and continues to grow, accordingly to a new study published by Ducker Worldwide and commissioned by the European Aluminium Association (EAA). The study’s findings were consistent with a recent survey of U.S. automakers that showed aluminum use in U.S. vehicles has grown steadily over the past four decades and is projected to double by 2025.
“This European study is very consistent with what OEM’s are telling us here in the U.S. market,” said Randall Scheps, chairman of the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) and automotive marketing director for Alcoa, during a presentation today at the American Metal Market 5th Automotive Metals Conference. “Aluminum offers many benefits to automakers as they strive to meet stricter upcoming fuel economy and emissions regulations here and abroad, and we will continue to see it displace traditional materials like steel because aluminum’s low weight, high strength, carbon reducing and highly recyclable properties will continue to drive market evolution to address evolving consumer demands.”
Scheps also highlighted drivers of the aluminum transition, saying, “Consumer demand, the marketplace and a host of environmental and safety factors play a major role here.” He emphasized that “the use of aluminum provides an opportunity for vehicles to achieve better fuel economy and efficiency, while providing the vehicles consumers want.”
In a separate presentation, Doug Richman, chairman of the ATG’s Technical Committee, reviewed the material’s current automotive market penetration, building on its forty years of uninterrupted growth, and its projected growth, detailing areas in which it will be seen.
Richman, also vice president of Engineering and Technology at Kaiser Aluminum, presented the latest findings of a North American survey conducted by Ducker Worldwide revealing that U.S. automakers will expand their use of aluminum to reduce vehicle weight by up to 400 pounds per vehicle in 2015/2016, and that the metal is expected to double its share of the average automotive materials mix to 16 percent by 2025.
“This growth will be reflected in new applications, which is very exciting,” said Richman. “Aluminum will continue to dominate the engine and wheel markets, and significantly increase in use for hoods, trunks and doors as automakers pursue holistic downweighting strategies.”
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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., Novelis Inc., Rio Tinto Alcan, Aluminum Precision Products Inc., Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, Hydro and Sapa Group.