Aluminum Frenzy Still On The Up-rise Part IV


More Ford vehicles

The F-150 pickup — the industry’s highest-volume vehicle — switches from a steel body to aluminum late this year. Once the two plants that build the truck are running at full speed, Ford will overtake Jaguar Land Rover as the industry’s largest manufacturer of aluminum-bodied vehicles, with expected volume of around 650,000 per year.

Rosner’s sources indicate that by 2017 Ford will be using aluminum bodies on five other pickups and SUVs: the F-250, F-350, Navigator, Expedition and Expedition EL.

That would bring Ford’s aluminum bodies to more than 1 million units per year, he said. He added that the five vehicles will move to the F-150 platform.

Alcoa expects automotive demand for aluminum to double by 2025, while Novelis expects to increase sales to automakers 15 percent per year for the rest of the decade.

“When automakers decide to move into aluminum, they do that three or four years in advance of the model year,” Tom Boney, general manager of automotive for Novelis North America, told Automotive News.

“In that time, the aluminum industry is quite capable of capitalizing to meet those requirements. Novelis has spent more than $550 million to increase our capacity. We’ve done that in the United States, Germany and China.”

I think without a doubt, with this report found in Automotive News, those that had doubts about the future of aluminum need to reconsider their stance. There is no escape and if anything, the walls will start to close around those body shop owners that refuse to get ahead of these changes.

Manufacturers are quite competitive when it comes to this subject. The question becomes whose is bigger and better. Kind of reminds me of Tim Allen but instead of power we’re talking aluminum and who can get their mpg lower first. This competition is great for the consumer because its heated state will drive prices down, something none of us would complain about.

Are you preparing for the inevitable? Contact us to find out how we can help you get on board through training. Be prepared and don’t get left behind.

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