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Automakers said to be using more aluminum

Keywords: Tags  North American International Auto Show, Detroit, cars, aluminum, Aluminum Association, Alcoa, Randall Scheps, AHSS steel


CHICAGO — Automakers are increasingly looking to aluminum as they try to reduce the weight of cars and trucks to meet more stringent U.S. fuel-economy standards, according to one industry association.

Aluminum is the leading metal for engines and wheels and is quickly gaining ground in hoods, trunks and doors, the Aluminum Association said in a recent release, citing a study by Troy, Mich.-based market research firm Ducker Worldwide LLC.

Evidence of those gains has been on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, where a host of cars and trucks use more aluminum than before and deploy the metal in more innovative ways, the association said.

Among them is the 2013 Honda Accord, which features an aluminum hood, subframe and rear bumper; the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which has an aluminum hood as well as aluminum suspension and engine components; and the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, which has body panels made from aluminum, the association said.

“Reducing weight with aluminum allows automakers to cost-effectively make vehicles that go farther on a gallon of gas, helping them meet new fuel-economy standards,” Randall Scheps, chairman of the association’s Aluminum Transportation Group and marketing director for Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Inc., said in a statement.

Automakers are looking to boost aluminum use in the average vehicle from 327 pounds in 2009 to 550 pounds by 2025, the Arlington, Va.-based association said.

Aluminum and steel have long battled for automotive market share, with steel historically dominating the sector. Steelmakers contend that advanced high-strength steels (AHSSs) may prove more alluring to automakers working to cut the weight of vehicles (amm.com, Oct. 31).

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