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News

Ferrari and Alcoa to develop advanced spaceframe technology

Alcoa : 02 May, 2006  (New Product)
Ferrari and Alcoa announced today the formation of a long-term strategic partnership focused on creating advanced aluminum spaceframe technology for future generations of Ferrari vehicles. At the same time, Alcoa announced that it will open a new, larger spaceframe manufacturing facility in Modena, Italy, in the second quarter of 2006.
Ferrari and Alcoa announced today the formation of a long-term strategic partnership focused on creating advanced aluminum spaceframe technology for future generations of Ferrari vehicles. At the same time, Alcoa announced that it will open a new, larger spaceframe manufacturing facility in Modena, Italy, in the second quarter of 2006.

'What began as a collaboration in the 1990s to develop an aluminum spaceframe for the 360 Modena has now blossomed into a strategic partnership between Ferrari and Alcoa,' according to Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari chairman. 'Three successful generations of spaceframes for the Modena, the 612 Scaglietti and the F430 have proven that the Ferrari-Alcoa partnership is not only capable of innovation, but also the implementation of new technologies on production lines in Modena.'

'The relationship with Alcoa is already a case history and it will be the model for future relationships with other Ferrari suppliers,' Mr. di Montezemolo added.

According to Alcoa's Chairman Alain Belda, the Ferrari-Alcoa partnership has been especially productive because of Ferrari's willingness to involve Alcoa at the outset of the vehicle development process. 'Without this early involvement, the switch from steel to aluminum would not have taken place without such excellent results,' Mr. Belda noted.

'Ferrari and Alcoa have constantly challenged each other. We do so to ensure we are not engaged in a laboratory exercise, but rather a materials, structural design and manufacturing partnership where bottom-line targets, such as cost and assembly efficiency, are the real imperatives,' said Belda.

'The direct interaction that has been so important to the success of the Ferrari-Alcoa partnership will continue and grow,' according to William F. Christopher, Alcoa's Executive Vice President for Transportation Products. 'We intend to strengthen the fast and efficient feed-back loop that has characterized our communication so far and that has made Alcoa a knowledgeable and responsive partner in the automotive industry.'

The creation of a new and larger manufacturing facility in Modena is a result of the productive Ferrari - Alcoa collaboration. 'The decision not only reflects Alcoa's desire to support and sustain Ferrari's increased use of aluminum spaceframe technology in the near term,' according to Misha Riveros-Jacobson, president of Alcoa Advanced Transportation Systems, 'but our intention to position ourselves to grow with Ferrari both in business and technically as their future success dictates.'

The new facility, located about five kilometers from the current facility, will cover 5,000 square meters. The new plant will almost double the size of Alcoa's current manufacturing space. When fully operational in mid-2006, the new facility will double Alcoa's spaceframe production capacity. It will also be in line with Ferrari's philosophy of creating excellence in work environment and product quality. Alcoa's investment in the plant relocation will be approximately 400,000 Euros.

According to Alcoa, there will also be a small increase in the number of production employees, about 12%, associated with the relocation. Additional workforce expansion will be linked to future business.

'This plant expansion gives us the design flexibility and manufacturing scale to bring new and innovative concepts, such as modularity, to our spaceframe structures,' according to Mr. Christopher. 'It also gives us a chance to re-design our production lines to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and expand the automation of our current processes. These innovations will help us meet customers' performance as well as cost targets.'
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