Alcoa completed a $300 million expansion at its Davenport, Iowa, production facility dedicated to supplying aluminum sheet products to the automotive industry. The Davenport expansion is expected to create 150 full-time jobs in the region.
Alcoa executives said, according to automakers demand for aluminum to produce vehicles—already the second-most-used material used to make cars today—is expected to nearly double by 2025. The amount of aluminum body sheet content in North American vehicles is expected to quadruple by 2015 and increase tenfold by 2025 from 2012 levels.
“2014 marks the beginning of dramatic growth for aluminum in the auto sector,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and CEO. “Automakers are increasingly choosing aluminum as a cost-effective way to improve the performance, safety, durability and fuel efficiency of their vehicles. Our project in Iowa is the first of three capacity expansions we have underway to meet this growing demand.”
In addition to its expansion in Iowa—for which long-term supply agreements have been secured—Alcoa noted it is adding automotive capacity at its Alcoa, Tennessee, manufacturing center, with a $275 million expansion scheduled to be complete in mid-2015. The expansion will create an additional 200 full time jobs.
Alcoa said its innovations have enabled the increased use of aluminum in the automotive sector. Alcoa’s pre-treatment bonding technology, known as Alcoa 951, enables more durable bonding of aluminum components in vehicles, can reduce spot weld points, and results in lower manufacturing costs. A superior product to the previous industry standard, Alcoa has licensed the Alcoa 951 technology at the request of auto manufacturers to make it available across the industry.