GM sees aluminum usage increasing

May 16, 2014 | 01:11 PM | Nathan Laliberte

Tags  aluminum, General Motors, GM, Susan Hartfield-Wunsch, automotive, Novelis, Ford Motor, Tom Boney Peter Friedman

PHILADELPHIA — General Motors Co. expects aluminum usage in mass-market vehicles to increase significantly over the next decade, although it is still learning how to work with the material on a "massive scale," a technical fellow in the company’s global manufacturing engineering unit said.

"We’re seeing a lot more (aluminum) usage now, and not just on the premium vehicles," Susan Hartfield-Wunsch, an engineer at the Detroit-based automaker, said during a panel discussion at AMM’s Aluminum Summit in Philadelphia. "I expect we will see additional mass savings in the future."

Concerns persist, however, about sheet capacity availability, especially as automotive aluminum usage continues to spike. "Capacity for aluminum sheet is going to be a big issue," she said. "There are a lot of people at GM who have asked if they can depend on adequate supplies of aluminum sheet in the future."....

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