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March 4, 2004
Alcoa Announces Participation with GM on Technology Breakthrough for '04 Chevy Malibu Maxx Lift Gate
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 4, 2004--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today its role in the commercialization of a new General Motors forming process for aluminum body and closure panels that is featured on the lift gate for the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. The lift gate is manufactured via GM's Quick Plastic Forming (QPF) process, announced earlier this year.
Alcoa has been collaborating with GM on QPF for the past three years through a joint development agreement focused on improving the alloy used for this process as well as other process improvements involved in the manufacture of QPF panels. Much of Alcoa's development work is ongoing at Alcoa's Technical Center (ATC), located near Pittsburgh, PA.
GM's advanced forming process enables the company to extend complex styling features, previously limited to concept and low-volume niche vehicles to higher-volume vehicles.
"Alcoa is pleased to see the adaptation of Quick Plastic Forming (QPF) to the high volume world of automotive body panels," said Robert S. Wetherbee, President of Alcoa Mill Products. "This technology is an extension of methods originally utilized by the aerospace industry. Our collaboration with GM on the QPF process, has provided GM a greater flexibility to create body panels with eye-catching shapes and a greater complexity of forms at production volumes."
Dr. Mohammad Zaidi, Alcoa's Chief Technical Officer, said, "The opportunity to collaborate technically with GM on this novel approach helped demonstrate on a high-volume platform that part consolidation opportunities are achievable with aluminum. GM was also able to show how aluminum components can help reduce manufacturing complexity. Ultimately, the goal of both companies will be to reduce the cost of aluminum automotive products."
Alcoa Mill Products produces sheet and plate for the automotive industry. This Alcoa Business Unit has three primary manufacturing facilities; Davenport, IA; Lancaster, PA; and, Texarkana, TX.; and an automotive sheet finishing facility in Danville, Ill.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com