According to survey findings, body, bumper and closure content grew by 58 percent between 2009 and 2012, with 30 percent of all hoods on 2012 vehicles being aluminum. By 2012, the survey expects 20 percent of all bumpers will be aluminum.
“New, stringent federal fuel economy regulations, coupled with consumer angst about high and unstable gas prices, is leading automakers to move quickly with a total rethinking of vehicle design as they also push ahead with alternate power trains, new technologies and advanced materials. In terms of boosting fuel economy and cutting tailpipe emissions, aluminum offers automakers the fastest, safest, most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to get the job done. Low-density aluminum is a game-changer and automakers are moving quickly to take full advantage of all the consumer benefits it provides,” Scheps says. Other Highlights from the Report include:
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 percent 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, 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.