just-auto.com

US: Alcoa expanding auto output

By Graeme Roberts | 16 September 2011

Alcoa said it would expand its Davenport, Iowa rolled products plant to meet rising demand from automakers.

"More and more automotive original equipment manufacturers are switching from steel to aluminium products as they seek to increase the fuel efficiency, safety, durability and performance of the cars they produce," the supplier said in a statement.

WIth help from an economic development incentive package from the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the expansion, costing US$300m, will increase auto-related output, adding 150 jobs to the existing 2,300 by the end of 2013.

“The automotive market has long lead times and much of this expansion we are announcing today is for business already secured," said Alcoa executive Helmut Wieser.

The firm expects growing demand for 'Alcoa 951' used to improve adhesive bonding for vehicle assemblies.

A study of automakers by Ducker Worldwide, released earlier this month, showed automakers will increase their use of aluminium from 327 pounds per vehicle in 2009 to 550 pounds in 2025. For 2012 model cars, the use of aluminium has reached an all-time high of 343 pounds, a 5% increase. According to OEMs surveyed in the study, aluminium use as a percent of the overall automotive materials mix is expected to double by 2025 to 16%.