Constellium has officially opened a new aluminium automotive body sheet finishing line in Neuf-Brisach, France, costing US$198m.

The new line is designed to meet the growing demand for alloy parts.

Production capacity is 100,000 tons and the 240 metre line has high-speed thermal treatment, temperature control, quenching process and greater flexibility on the thickness of processed alloys.

This will enable the supplier to make aluminium products for closure inners, outers and body-in-white. Though the new line is in the final stage of its qualification phase, it has already started commercial production.

Built in 1967, the Neuf-Brisach plant is an integrated aluminium rolling, finishing and recycling facility. Adding to the production capacity of aluminium automotive body sheet there, the supplier expects this additional finishing line to significantly boost automotive body-sheet production capacity in Europe to meet anticipated automotive market growth.

In Europe, stricter regulation of vehicles' CO2 emissions have resulted in an increasing demand for aluminium. With the rising importance of lightweighting, aluminium automotive body sheet volumes are expected to reach 700,000 tons in 2020, up from 230,000 tons in 2012.