Japanese target US auto aluminum sheet mart

May 29, 2014 | 05:04 PM | Nathan Laliberte

Tags  Wise Metals Group, Kobe Steel, Toyota Tsusho, Wes Olberholzer, automotive, aluminum, can sheet, automotive sheet Anheuser-Busch

NEW YORK — The Japanese auto industry is looking to capture market share in the U.S. automotive aluminum sector, highlighting the possibility of a major shift to aluminum for Japanese-brand mass-market vehicles, Wise Metals Group LLC’s top executive told AMM.

Kobe Steel Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. earlier this week said they were considering a joint venture to produce automotive aluminum sheet in the United States, and that they likely would partner with Muscle Shoals, Ala.-based Wise Metals to source master coils to produce aluminum sheet (amm.com, May 27).

"They approached us. Actually, it was Toyota alone that approached us about the potential of a partnership," Wise president and chief operating officer Wes Oberholzer said. "For Kobe, this is the way they are going to address the North American demand for aluminum sheet in the space they typically service; we think they bring a wealth of experience with them."....

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