Alcoa executives made the announcement as the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit displays a number of vehicles featuring large increases in aluminium content.
According to automakers, demand for aluminium to produce vehicles - already the second-most-used material used to make cars today - is expected to nearly double by 2025. The amount of aluminium body sheet content in North American vehicles is expected to quadruple by 2015 and increase tenfold by 2025 from 2012 levels.
“2014 marks the beginning of dramatic growth for aluminium in the auto sector,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Automakers are increasingly choosing aluminium as a cost-effective way to improve the performance, safety, durability and fuel efficiency of their vehicles. Our project in Iowa is the first of three capacity expansions we have underway to meet this growing demand.”
In addition to its expansion in Iowa, for which long-term supply agreements have been secured, Alcoa is adding automotive capacity in Alcoa, Tennessee which is scheduled to be complete in mid-2015; and at its joint venture rolling mill in Saudi Arabia, to be complete by the end of 2014. Alcoa is investing approximately $670 million in the three expansions.