Aleris mulls new capacity to meet auto demand

Jan 13, 2014 | 06:33 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Aleris, Steven J. Demetriou, automotive, Ford, F-150, substitution, aerospace, IPO aluminum

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Aleris International Inc. may add new production capacity in the United States to meet expected big increases in demand from the automotive sector, the company’s top executive said.

The announcement came as Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co. officially unveiled an aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup truck (, Jan. 13).

"This appears to be only the beginning for the U.S. industry as it relates to the automotive transformation," Aleris chairman and chief executive officer Steven J. Demetriou said Jan. 13 during a keynote address at Platts' Aluminum Symposium in Fort Lauderdale. "We are looking seriously at how to capitalize on this opportunity by potentially putting new capacity in the U.S. for this growth."

The Cleveland-based aluminum products maker is already supplying the automotive market from its facility in Duffel, Belgium (, March 14), and is well positioned in the United States and China, a big and growing auto market, Demetriou said. He declined to disclose where and when Aleris might add capacity in the United States. “We see opportunities to partner with customers and grow—and we’re working on that—but have nothing to specifically report today,” he said. Aleris has mentioned a potential investment at its facility in Lewisport, Ky., noting demand from the automotive and aerospace industries, but has cautioned that any such investment would require a favorable power deal (, Oct. 18). As U.S. automakers shift more automotive applications from steel to aluminum, there will be a need for more hot-mill production capacity to....

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