Constellium N.V. has announced the official opening of a new finishing line at its plant in Neuf-Brisach, France, for a total €180 million investment.
The new line is designed to meet the growing demand for aluminium automotive body sheet.
With a production capacity of 100,000 tons, the new 240m (787-foot) long finishing line features high-speed thermal treatment, precise temperature control, highly efficient quenching process as well as greater flexibility on the thickness of processed alloys. This diverse range of innovative technologies will enable Constellium to manufacture high-quality aluminium products for automotive closure inners, outers and Body-in-White. The new finishing line is in the final stage of the qualification phase and has already started commercial production.
“On the heels of the launch of our new manufacturing plant with our joint venture partner UACJ Corporation in Bowling Green in the US, the opening of the new finishing line in Neuf-Brisach is another critical step in the execution of our worldwide automotive growth strategy,” said Jean-Marc Germain, Chief Executive Officer of Constellium. “It shows our continued commitment to serving the needs of automakers with our advanced aluminium products and solutions.”
“We are thrilled to announce the capacity expansion of our plant in Neuf-Brisach with the opening of a best-in-class automotive finishing line,” said Arnaud Jouron, President of Constellium’s Packaging and Automotive Rolled Products business unit. “With top-notch technologies, a long-standing automotive expertise among our staff on both sides of the ocean, and an additional line located in the heart of Europe, we are well positioned to capture the growth for automotive body sheet in Europe and across the globe.”
Built in 1967, the Neuf-Brisach plant is an integrated aluminium rolling, finishing and recycling facility. In Neuf-Brisach, Constellium designs and produces a wide portfolio of coil and sheet products for automotive OEMs as well as food and beverage can customers. Adding to the production capacity of aluminium automotive body sheet in Neuf-Brisach, the opening of this additional finishing line is expected to significantly boost Constellium’s automotive body-sheet production capacity in Europe to meet anticipated automotive market growth.
In Europe, stricter regulation of vehicles’ CO2 emission 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.