A well known global aluminum supplier, Novelis, is finally seeing a 45-year-old dream fulfilled – the auto industry prepares for the aluminum revolution.
The 2015 Ford F-150 that is expected to reach dealer lots in the US later this year has shun the good old – but heavy – steel body in favor of military grade aluminum, supplied by Novelis. The producer has increased capacity at its Oswego, New York manufacturing facility for the third time, with Ford using everything coming out of there.
In the 40 years to 2009 – when first approached by Ford to begin working together on the aluminum for the 2015 F-150 – according to Tom Boney, a general manager for Novelis North America, aluminum usage in the automotive sector only increased by seven pounds (3 kg) annually.
“We just kept plugging away,” Boney said. “We were always the bridesmaid, never the bride. It has been a 40-year journey for the aluminum industry,” he added. “Ford has done its homework and the industry has done its work. Our confidence level is very high. ”
Ducker Worldwide, a company that follows material usage trends, forecasts that by 2025, 18% of all new vehicles would be designed with aluminum bodies, a sharp rise form less than 1% today. The highest rise will be for pickups, which need to achieve huge weight reductions in their fight to reach the new emission standards and fuel economy thresholds – by 2025 no less than 70% of pickups will incorporate aluminum.