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Aluminum use in vehicle production set to rise considerably

Seeking to safely and cost-effectively reduce vehicle weight, a recent survey of North American automakers by Ducker Worldwide has found that they are accelerating the move to using aluminum in place of other materials for construction of cars and light tricks. With lighter vehicles getting better fuel economy with less emissions, aluminum already dominates for engines and wheels and is its use is rapidly increasing for hoods, trunks and doors. Use of aluminum by automakers is expected to rise from 327 pounds (150 kg) in 2009 to 550 pounds (250 kg) in 2025, the survey estimates.

The survey also found that automaker’s continual increase in aluminum use will reach 343 pounds (156 kg) per vehicle by 2012 – the highest it has ever been. Over the last 40 years, use of aluminum in vehicles has increased every year. Looking further ahead, the report foresees the proportion of aluminum doubling, to 16 percent of the average of all automotive materials by 2025, to achieve an average level of 550 pounds (250 kg) per vehicle being constructed in aluminum. With more stringent fuel economy regulations being considered by the federal administration, it is expected that auto manufacturers will reduce the lower average weight of vehicles by 400 pounds (182 kg) and the percent of aluminum as a material used in vehicle construction is expected to double.

 Randall Scheps, Chairman of the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group and Marketing Director at Alcoa, Inc. stated, “This new survey of automakers makes clear that in terms of new vehicle designs to greatly step up fuel economy…aluminum’s time has come.” He went on to say, “Cars and trucks will get lighter and more efficient, but thanks to aluminum, they won’t have to get smaller or less safe.”


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