Alcoa is leading the charge on the increased use of aluminum in the auto market. Already the number two material used to make cars, aluminum use is projected to nearly double by 2025.
Alcoa innovations, such as Alcoa 951 pre-treatment bonding, are helping to spur that pull from auto manufacturers who are turning to aluminum to replace steel to increase the performance, safety, durability and fuel efficiency of their vehicles. Automakers know that aluminum is a cost-effective way to increase "fuel effectiveness," a term that describes increased performance and durability while also increasing fuel efficiency.
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Alcoa's innovative solutions are found from bumper to bumper in cars from fasteners and extruded drive shafts, wheels, brazing sheet in HVAC, and aluminum in engine blocks. But the biggest growth will be in flat rolled products. Alcoa's leading edge technology and experience are helping to expand aluminum use from closure panels (of which 40 percent today are aluminum) to also include Body-in-White applications (the skeleton of the vehicle); the next frontier in Body in White is taking place right now.
2014 marks the beginning of dramatic growth for aluminum in the auto sector. Alcoa projects the value-added sheet products it provides to auto OEM's will grow four times by the end of 2015 and ten times by 2025.
To keep up with this demand, Alcoa is investing approximately $600MM to expand production at its facilities in Davenport, Iowa; Alcoa, TN; and in Saudi Arabia.