The study, which confirms a major breakthrough for automotive aluminium into high-volume vehicles, surveyed all major automakers and reports Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler will become the biggest users of aluminium sheet in the next decade. It also forecasts that the number of vehicles with complete aluminium body structures will reach 18% of North American production, from less than one percent today. Vehicle segments revealed as emerging aluminium content leaders are pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and both mid-sized and full-size sedans.
The study finds that every leading automaker will have numerous aluminium body and closure programs by 2025. As the material mix for body and closure parts continues to change dramatically in the years to come, use of aluminium sheet for vehicle bodies will increase to 4 billion pounds by 2025, from 200 million pounds in 2012.
“The numbers tell a powerful story of aluminium’s explosive growth across the automotive sector,” said Tom Boney, chairman of the Aluminium Association’s Aluminium Transportation Group and vice president and general manager of automotive for Novelis in North America. “Within the next ten years, seven out of 10 new pickups produced in North America will be aluminium-bodied, and so too will be more than 20 percent of SUVs and full–sized sedans.”
The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) commissioned global consulting and research firm Ducker Worldwide to conduct the “2015 North American Light Vehicle Aluminum Content Study.” Through detailed in-person interviews with automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), component suppliers and regulators, Ducker Worldwide maintains a comprehensive material use database to track material and mass of individual components for every vehicle model manufactured in North America. The findings of the “2015 North American Light Vehicle Aluminium Content Study” were compiled using data updated and verified between October 2013 and April 2014.
“Aluminium-bodied cars and trucks are coming in a big way – and soon. Consumers won’t visibly notice a different metal under the paint, but they’ll see greater savings at the gas pump and experience better performance and handling at the wheel,” added Boney.
Additional findings from the “2015 North American Light Vehicle Aluminium Content Study” include:
• For 2015, pickup trucks will contain the most aluminium at 548.9 lbs. per vehicle, followed closely by E segment sedans at 546.9 lbs., SUVs at 410.3 lbs. and minivans at 396.5 lbs.
• The average aluminium content in 2015 will be up 44 pounds per vehicle or 13% over 2012.
• Total North American light vehicle aluminium consumption will increase 28% in 2015 over 2012.
• Tesla, Mercedes, BMW and Ford will all exceed the average aluminium content and the average aluminium share of curb weight for 2015.
• By 2025, 26.6% of all the body and closure parts for light vehicles in North America will be made of aluminium.
• Total North American aluminium content in 2025 will be 10 billion pounds.
• Aluminium hood penetration will reach 85% and doors will reach 46%; complete bodies will reach 18%, from less than one percent today.
• Globally, light vehicle aluminium content will approach 35 billion pounds by 2025 making light vehicles the most important global market for aluminium.