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November 24, 2009

Alcoa Executive Hails Aluminum’s Ability for Lightweight Automotive Design That Increases Fuel Efficiency and Reduces Emissions

DUSSELDORF, Germany--Aluminum’s ability to offer automotive manufacturers’ lightweight design solutions that increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while contributing to performance, was the central theme of a presentation given by Dr.-Ing. Dietrich Wieser. Alcoa’s Director Business Development Ground Transportation Europe spoke at the European Aluminium Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany taking place November 23 and 24.

Aluminum plays an important role in reducing CO2 emissions in transportation. “Aluminum not only offers significant advantages during the use stage of an automobile, but in particular, also in the end-of-life stage,” notes Wieser. “The infinite recyclability of aluminum, together with its high scrap value and the low energy needs during recycling make aluminum lightweight solutions in automotive applications highly desirable.”

The international conference is an initiative of the German National Aluminium Association ‘GDA’, and was attended by more than 180 participants.

Dr. Wieser outlined the many benefits aluminum brings to numerous automotive applications. “Today many cars contain significant amounts of aluminum, as designers have increasingly become aware of the metal’s demonstrated advantages,” says Wieser. “While aluminum has historically been employed in automobiles primarily in the form of castings (e.g. for engine blocks and transmission housings), in recent years engineers are making good use of the wide variety of aluminum products for automotive applications.”

Light weighting transportation products through the use of aluminum provides a direct contribution to CO2 savings. Not only when using passenger cars, but also for trucks and busses. According to Dr. Wieser, “one kilogram of aluminum in average saves 20 kg of CO2 for passenger cars; 28 kg of CO2 for articulated trucks; and 45 kg of CO2 for city busses, during the full life cycle of the vehicle.” According to a recently published Ducker report, the average aluminum content of a European passenger car in 2009 amounts to 124 kilograms.

According to Wieser, “Light-weighting is a key measure to improve the sustainability of transportation. Aluminum with its wide range of product forms offers technically and economically convincing solutions and is an excellent material to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across a vehicle’s lifetime. In short: Aluminum is part of the solution to reduce CO2 emissions in transportation and so helping to improve the sustainability of the transport industry.”

Learn more

Click here to learn more about Alcoa’s light weighting Automotive and Commercial Transportation solutions:

Click here to view information on the use of aluminum in Automotive and Commercial Transportation at the European Aluminium Association and the U.S. Aluminum Association websites:

About Alcoa

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation 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 including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years. Alcoa employs approximately 63,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.