Auto aluminum ‘holy grail’ not without risks

Mar 19, 2014 | 03:12 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  aluminum, automotive sheet, extrusion, scrap, AEC, Aluminum Extruders Council, Kevin Moore, All Raw Materials Consulting Ford

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The aluminum industry and aluminum extruders should see big benefits as cars and trucks use more of the light metal because of stricter fuel economy standards, according to one consultant.

But the “holy grail” of mass-produced aluminum vehicles won’t come without significant risks, including potential overcapacity, an extremely tight scrap market, fierce competition from steel and fickle consumers, Kevin Moore, president of Clarkston, Mich.-based All Raw Materials Consulting, said March 19 at the Aluminum Extruders Council’s annual meeting in Coral Gables.

The average amount of aluminum per vehicle should jump to between 550 and 650 pounds by 2025 from 364 pounds last year, Moore said.

Aluminum sheet will see the lion’s share of that growth, but extrusions will benefit too, he said, noting that North American vehicles are expected to each sport an average of 49 pounds of aluminum extrusions by 2025, up 81.5 percent from about 27 pounds last year. “That is a huge growth,” he said.....

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