According to the new chief of Japan’s Aluminum industry association, if other carmakers follow in Ford’s footsteps and release models made from the lightweight metal, its price could rise by as much as a third to $2,500 per tonne.
While the metal has already seen niche usage in high-end automotive products, the decision to employ it within the construction of a mainstream model like Ford’s F-150 pickup could trigger a revolution in its rivals’ next models.
“If automakers follow Ford’s step to use more aluminum, supply of the metal will become short and prices could rise as high as around $2,500 per tonne,” said Takashi Ishiyama, chairman of the Japan Aluminum Association.
Aluminum, which is lighter than steel, doesn’t rust and allows the carmaker to develop a more efficient car – is now mulled by several automakers, which are rumored to use it for their future products. Certainly, before any decisions are made, many are still waiting to see if Ford’s daring move will prove successful, as the automaker’s F-150 has been its best selling product for decades.
Ishiyama added that because of the production levels of the F-150 truck, Ford is providing a huge new source of demand for the aluminum industry, which has long tried to expand towards the automotive business.