In the constant quest to reduce carbon emissions, increased fuel economy and lower manufacturing costs, automotive companies such as Toyota and Ford have begun the move towards utilizing a variety of lightweight-but-strong aluminum in cars to further their efforts. According to a report conducted by MarketsandResearch, the market for aluminum in car body application accounted for $47.91 billion- the third largest share in the automotive aluminum market. This growth is no doubt linked to the increased inclination of manufacturers to use rolled aluminum in their car bodies.
The continued demand for aluminum in cars to cut weight and improve fuel economy is launching the market, which is expected to reach $111.8 billion in 2016.
Some auto companies claim that aluminum is stronger than steel with more opportunity to resist body damage and still be weight friendly. So, why then is the word “aluminum” such a threat to some in the industry?
It’s really not. Demand is up 40% for lightweight, recyclable aluminum since 2009 and has supported industry job growth, but aluminum is a highly traded commodity where price is heavily influenced.
Advanced High Strength Steel, a signature of National Material Company, is still the choice for framing vehicles, but as public ideology changes about fuel-economy, and policy affects expansion and taxes, the race to develop and implement higher-grade metals into mainstream auto manufacturing as long as cars stay reliably the same cost to design and manufacture, and autos stay safe for consumers.
As more manufacturers turn to aluminum in cars, it could be motivation for U.S.-based companies to invest in better steel and aluminum technology, a win-win for consumers and job growth. Toyota is pushing the forefront in this arena, indicating that the future is aluminum.
Where does Taber Extrusions lie in all this? The company has been a leading supplier of high quality aluminum extrusions for around four decades, and is an industry leader that provides materials to industries including automotive, military, aerospace, and general distribution markets. Taber offers some of the widest, heaviest, and complex shapes and aluminum extrusions that are shaping the future of aluminum and high strength steel.
As consumers, it will be interesting to watch what happens between technology, automotive manufacturing, and the price of our cars!