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Stricter fuel economy rules likely to boost aluminum extrusions demand

Keywords: Tags  Aluminum Extruders Council, AEC, Lynn Brown, automotive, Ducker worldwide, fuel economy, aluminum extrusions, nonferrous Michael Cowden

ORLANDO, Fla. — Aluminum extruders are likely to see improved demand from the automotive industry as a result of stricter fuel economy standards in the United States.

Demand for automotive extrusions is expected to triple by 2025 as a result of stepped-up corporate average fuel economy standards, said Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) consultant Lynn Brown, citing a forecast by Troy, Mich.-based market research firm Ducker Worldwide LLC.

The AEC retained Ducker to survey a "small but very significant group" of automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 suppliers to gauge their attitudes about extrusions, Brown said at the group’s annual meeting and leadership conference in Orlando. The survey asked respondents whether they were open to using extrusions, as well as what they saw as the challenges of working with extrusions and increasing the amount of extrusions in their vehicles.

The mission is to "make sure we as an industry are prepared" and to understand automotive requirements and what it takes to be a reliable supplier to the industry, Brown said. If the aluminum extrusion market does that, it will achieve that potential threefold growth, or "at the very least make sure we don’t have missteps to reduce that opportunity."

One of the bigger challenges facing the extrusion sector is not so much proving to automakers that aluminum extrusions are a viable solution for lightweighting vehicles, but to show them that the industry has the capacity, know-how and reliability to respond to automotive demand and requirements, some attendees said on the sidelines of the conference.

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