Aluminum usage in automotive applications has increased every year for nearly 40 years. Automotive Aluminum usage in 2012 is reported to be 343 pounds, up five percent from 2009’s 327 pounds per vehicle, according to a report available from the Aluminum Association. The data was obtained in a survey of automakers by Ducker Worldwide.
Longer term, the report predicts aluminum is expected to double its share of the average automotive materials mix to 16 percent by 2025 with future cars and light trucks reaching a predicted average of 550 pounds of automotive aluminum per vehicle. Precision machining companies are increasingly seeing opportunities to quote parts from aluminum that had prior been steel or brass.
Its Not Just Wheels and Powertrain Anymore
The Ducker- Aluminum Association Survey revealed that the light metal is quickly gaining market share in hoods, trunks, doors and bumpers. Body, bumper and closure content grew by 58 percent from 2009 to 2012, with 30 percent of all hoods on 2012 vehicles being aluminum. This accounts for saving a total of 100 million pounds of vehicle weight across the entire fleet. Twenty percent of all bumpers in 2012 will be aluminum. Aluminum is the key to automotive downweighting.
Other Highlights from the Report
- The average increase in aluminum content since 1975 has been seven pounds per year per light vehicle.
- Automakers will, on average, seek to lower the weight of cars and light trucks by at least 10% by 2025.
- Market factors already in place are projected to push aluminum content to 400 pounds per vehicle in 2015/2016.
- Aluminum is gaining market share at the expense of both traditional and high strength steels (HSLA), which are declining as a percentage of vehicle makeup.
- Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) also are growing at the expense of inferior steels, but gauge reduction with AHSS provides limited weight savings potential compared to using lower density aluminum. Pound for pound, aluminum replaces more than twice as much weight as AHSS.
Which of Your Customers Are Leading the Way with Aluminum?
The latest model vehicles boasting above average aluminum content (more than nine percent of vehicle curb weight) include the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Ford Explorer, Ford Focus, Ford Escape, Lincoln MKZ, Chrysler C sedan, Honda Civic/CR-V, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Avalon and Fiat 500.
More than nine percent of curb weight is Aluminum!
Want to learn more? Register for the webinar or for more information on the survey and the overall advantages of automotive aluminum, visit AluminumTransportation.org or call (248) 975-2800.