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December 3, 2003
Jaguar XJ's Performance Enhanced by Alcoa's Cast Components
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 3, 2003--Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA)
announced today that the Jaguar XJ marks the first application of its
Vacuum Die Castings (AVDC) technology to enhance the driving
performance of a luxury sedan with a unibody architecture. Seven Alcoa
VDC castings stiffen the XJ's underbody to improve ride and handling.
Alcoa Advanced Transportation Systems produces 11 AVDC castings
for the XJ. Seven are delivered directly to Jaguar for the body
structure and four are produced for Wagon, a large Tier 1 European
supplier, as part of the XJ door structure. Jaguar's new advertising
campaign highlights the aluminum content of the vehicle.
"Improved stiffness, ride and handling and structural performance
are just some of the advantages that Alcoa automotive products are
capable of providing," according to Rick Milner, president of the
Alcoa Advanced Transportation Systems. "Our goal is to work with
companies like Jaguar from concept forward to help them design and
deliver vehicles that will enhance the driving experience of their
The XJ's seven AVDC components, which accept and distribute
incoming stress throughout the body structure, include the central
drive shaft support, two pedestal brackets, two rear shock towers and
two front shock towers. The two front shock towers function as
dynamic, load-bearing parts with the suspension upper link arms being
directly connected. They were designed by Alcoa and are distinguished
by their size and complex geometry. These specific parts provide
significant part consolidation as well as a 30% weight saving over
conventional steel components.
The four AVDC castings supplied to Wagon are used for the front
and rear panels for the vehicle's doors. The strength of these
castings is essential as they carry the attachment loads for the doors
to the body structure. Their design also facilitates the insertion of
many additional components included in the assembly of the XJ's doors.
In addition to the AVDC castings, Alcoa also provides two
components made from the Alcoa green sand casting process (AGSC).
These components, a gear box cradle, rear tow hook brackets and crash
box coupling components, are also sourced directly to Jaguar.
The AVDC castings are produced for the XJ by Alcoa's plant in
Soest, Germany. The AGSC components are produced in the company's
British Casting Center in Leyland, England.
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 as a single solution to customers.
In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets
consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, 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
127,000 employees in 41 countries. For more information go to