Aleris has announced the opening of its aluminium automotive body sheet production facility in Lewisport, Kentucky.
The project, which represents a $400 million investment, positions Aleris to meet significant growth in North American automotive demand as the industry pursues broader aluminium use for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The company began shipping automotive products from Lewisport to customers this month.
"The opening of our new automotive facility in Kentucky marks the completion of a significant piece of our strategic realignment, which includes expanding our capacity and capabilities to serve the automotive industry and other high value end uses," Aleris Chairman and CEO Sean Stack said. "As an experienced supplier to automotive manufacturers in Europe, we look forward to partnering with customers more closely now in North America to bring them the most advanced auto body sheet products in the industry."
Lewisport is the company's first site in North America that is equipped with aluminium auto body sheet finishing capabilities. Announced in 2014, the expansion includes the addition of heat treatment and finishing capabilities, including a new wide cold mill, two continuous annealing lines and an automotive innovation centre, which includes a state-of-the-art research and development centre in Detroit.
"Strong customer collaboration in research and development has been a key component of our success in serving the global automotive industry, and we look forward to building on that success with this expansion in North America," said Andreas Gondorf, vice president, Aleris Global Automotive.