Auto body sheet growth
Constellium and UACJ Announce Opening of their Joint Venture’s Automotive Body Sheet Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The strategically-located 225,000 square foot facility will house an initial capacity of 100,000 metric tons.
It has secured its metal supply with both partners’ rolling mills. With cutting-edge equipment and technologies, the facility expects to offer a flat rolled product portfolio for a wide range of applications including closure panels, as well as body structures. The plant is currently in qualification phase, with ramp-up planned over the next two years. As of today, the line is essentially committed with orders from leading automotive OEMs in North America.
“Today’s opening represents a significant step towards securing our position as a leading player in the fast growing North American automotive body sheet market,” said Simon Laddychuk, Chief Executive Officer of the joint venture. “Constellium and UACJ’s combined industrial legacy and best-in-class assets, as well as our leading position in innovation with the opening of a new R&D hub in Plymouth, MI, position the joint venture to be the partner of choice for North American automotive OEMs.”
The North American aluminium body sheet market is expanding rapidly to respond to stringent automotive regulations calling for major car weight reduction and fuel efficiency. As a growing number of automotive OEMs integrate aluminium in their models, the use of aluminium automotive body sheet in North America increased from 70kt in 2012 to approximately 500kt in 2015 and is forecasted to reach more than 1,000kt in 2020.