Kobe, Toyota Tsusho eye auto aluminum venture

May 27, 2014 | 03:47 PM | Nathan Laliberte

Tags  Kobe Steel, Toyota Tsusho, Josh W. Sullivan, Sterne Agee Group, General Motors, Novelis, Tom Boney, automotive aluminum

NEW YORK — Japan’s Kobe Steel Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. are considering setting up a joint venture to produce automotive aluminum sheet in the United States.

The venture would produce and sell aluminum sheet for automotive body panels and automotive heat exchangers, Kobe Steel said.

"North American demand for aluminum body panels is anticipated to increase substantially from approximately 100,000 tons per year now to over 1 million tons in 2020," Kobe Steel said, citing the trend toward lightweighting prompted by tightening corporate average fuel economy (Cafe) standards.

Industry analysts believe the move signals a growing trend among international producers aiming to capture market share in the U.S. automotive market.....

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