Advanced materials specialist Arconic has announced a multi-year supply deal with Toyota. Arconic is supplying aluminium to Toyota for its new Lexus RX. The vehicle debuted last year and became Toyota’s first vehicle in North America to prominently feature aluminium exterior panels.

“Automakers worldwide are turning to aluminium for the stronger, tougher, higher performing vehicles that consumers demand,” said Mark Vrablec, president of Arconic’s Aerospace & Automotive Products business. “Many bestselling vehicles in America have already converted to aluminium for improved performance, including better fuel efficiency, more towing and payload capacity, and improved vehicle safety scores. This trend will continue. We are proud to expand our relationship with Toyota.”

This makes Arconic the sole aluminium sheet supplier to Toyota for the Lexus RX.

The Arconic and Toyota deal draws on the manufacturing capability of Arconic’s Global Rolled Products business. Arconic will supply Toyota from its plants in Davenport, Iowa, and Danville, Illinois.

The company estimates that it will grow its automotive sheet revenue from US$76m in 2010 to $1.3bn in 2018, and across Arconic’s full automotive portfolio, 98% of Arconic revenues come from products where it is number one or number two in its segment.

The fourth generation RX is manufactured in Japan and Canada. One notable difference on the previous model is a move to the use of aluminium for the bonnet/hood and tailgate.