By 2025, more than 75% of all new pick-up trucks produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied, according to a survey of vehicle manufacturers conducted by US-based consulting and research firm Ducker Worldwide.
The study, which confirms a significant breakthrough for automotive aluminium into high-volume vehicles, surveyed all major vehicle manufacturers and reports that Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler will become the biggest users of aluminium sheet in the next decade.
It also forecasts that the number of vehicles with complete aluminium body structures will make up 18% of North American production, from less than 1% today. Vehicle segments that are revealed as emerging aluminium content leaders are pick-up trucks, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and midsize and full-size sedans.
The study finds that every leading vehicle manufacturer will have numerous aluminium body and closure programmes by 2025. As the material mix for body and closure parts continues to change, use of aluminium sheet for vehicle bodies will increase to four-billion pounds (or 1.8-billion kilograms) by 2025, from 200-million pounds (or 90-million kilograms) in 2012.
“The numbers tell a powerful story of aluminum’s explosive growth across the automotive sector,” says US-based Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) chairperson, VP and automotive GM for Novelis in North America Tom Boney.
“Within the next ten years, seven out of ten new pick-ups produced in North America will be aluminium-bodied, and so too will be more than 20% of SUVs and full-sized sedans.”
The Aluminum Association’s ATG commissioned Ducker Worldwide to conduct the ‘2015 North American Light Vehicle Aluminum Content Study’.
Through detailed in-person interviews with automotive original-equipment manu-facturers, components suppliers and regulators, Ducker World-wide maintains a comprehensive ‘material use’ database to track the material and mass of individual components for every vehicle model manufactured in North America.
The findings of the study’ were compiled using data updated and verified between October 2013 and April this year.
“Aluminium-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 fuel station and experience better performance and handling at the wheel,” adds Boney.