While it was not something for General Motors to show off yet, reducing the weight of its cars will help the carmaker cut costs and turn to new production materials. Why is this important?
Because other carmakers cannot make this move as a lot of time and money gets involved in turning a regular vehicle from a steel construction to an aluminum alternative. If GM manages to complete this process that at the moment is testing parts on the new Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan, GM could produce units that use aluminum and steel parts in a faster and cheaper way.
Moreover, the potential customer would get fuel savings and better performance from their vehicles. This way, General Motors will cut the amount of time and money it usually invests in taking the cars onto the market.
The process would happen at a faster pace than the one followed by GM’s competitors. For example, Ford shut down its Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn to convert the F-150 to aluminum, losing months of production and many millions of dollars when installing a new assembly line.
If the tests on the hood and rear seat of the CT6 prove successful, GM could make a similar transformation in just a number of weeks when the Chevy Silverado would get an aluminum body for the production to come in the following two years.
The other automakers that tried to turn steel to aluminum did not manage to do so as these two metals melt at different temperatures. The temperature at which aluminum melts is when steel only gets warm. This is the big milestone GM has managed to overcome, keeping the aluminum parts from melting away, and getting 19 patents on the process.
Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs explained that weight reduction is very important for the car’s fuel economy, which is still important for consumers despite a decline in gas prices. If the latter rise, those who buy General Motors cars like the Chevrolet Malibu model will definitely appreciate the car’s lightness.