Novelis aims to shift focus to auto sheet

Aug 12, 2013 | 03:25 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Novelis, Philip Martens, Steve Fisher, hot mill, automotive sheet, beverage can, overcapacity, Oswego aluminum

CHICAGO — The North American aluminum market may experience a large-scale shift in hot-mill capacity from can body stock to more-lucrative and growing automotive sheet applications, Novelis Inc. executives said.

The Atlanta-based aluminum company’s expansion in Oswego, N.Y., is expected to boost automotive finishing capacity to more than 240,000 tonnes per year from an initially planned 200,000 tonnes once the new lines are operational, Novelis president and chief executive officer Philip Martens said during an earnings conference call with analysts.

That 240,000 tonnes should be fully subscribed as it comes on-stream over the next 12 to 18 months, Martens said. "As this (automotive) demand grows, we will allocate more of our hot-mill time away from can and toward automotive sheet, reducing the amount of can capacity available in the marketplace. This hot-mill shift will create tightness in the can supply market and restore balance in the North American market."....

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