Detroit, MI – By 2025, more than 75 percent of all new pickup trucks produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied, according to a survey of automakers conducted by Ducker Worldwide. The study, which confirms a major breakthrough for automotive aluminum into high-volume vehicles, surveyed all major automakers and reports Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler will become the biggest users of aluminum sheet in the next decade. It also forecasts that the number of vehicles with complete aluminum body structures will reach 18 percent of North American production, from less than one percent today. Vehicle segments revealed as emerging aluminum content leaders are pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and both mid-sized and full-size sedans.
“The numbers tell a powerful story of aluminum’s explosive growth across the automotive sector,” said Tom Boney, chairman of the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group and vice president and general manager of automotive for Novelis in North America. “Within the next ten years, seven out of 10 new pickups produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied, and so too will be more than 20 percent of SUVs and full–sized sedans.”
The findings of the “2015 North American Light Vehicle Aluminum Content Study” were compiled using data updated and verified between October 2013 and April 2014. Wariness of aluminum’s cost, concern of its inevitable durability, and ease of repair have made selling such aluminum-bodied trucks like the 2015 F-150 almost as challenging for Ford as building it. The company is making efforts to educate customers and technicians, and it put the new F-150 through a tougher testing regimen than any of its predecessors. The main advantage of an aluminum-bodied pickup truck is increased gas mileage, but the F-150′s mpg ratings won’t be released until closer to its launch later this year.
“Aluminum-bodied cars and trucks are coming in a big way – and soon. Consumers won’t visibly notice a different metal under the paint, but they’ll see greater savings at the gas pump and experience better performance and handling at the wheel,” added Boney.
Additional findings from the “2015 North American Light Vehicle Aluminum Content Study” include:
- For 2015, pickup trucks will contain the most aluminum at 548.9 lbs. per vehicle, followed closely by E segment sedans at 546.9 lbs., SUVs at 410.3 lbs. and minivans at 396.5 lbs.
- The average aluminum content in 2015 will be up 44 pounds per vehicle or 13% over 2012.
- Total North American light vehicle aluminum consumption will increase 28% in 2015 over 2012.
- Tesla, Mercedes, BMW and Ford will all exceed the average aluminum content and the average aluminum share of curb weight for 2015.
- By 2025, 26.6% of all the body and closure parts for light vehicles in North America will be made of aluminum.
- Total North American aluminum content in 2025 will be 10 billion pounds.
- Aluminum hood penetration will reach 85% and doors will reach 46%; complete bodies will reach 18%, from less than one percent today.
- Globally, light vehicle aluminum content will approach 35 billion pounds by 2025 making light vehicles the most important global market for aluminum.
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