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Alcan and Ford Sign Multi-Year Supply Agreement for Automotive Aluminum

Alcan Automotive : 24 January, 2000  (Company News)
Alcan Aluminium Limited and Ford Motor Company jointly announced today that they have signed a significant multi-year aluminum supply agreement that will support the expanded use of aluminum in the production of safe, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.
'This deal is another major step for Alcan in the realization of our automotive strategy to be the leading aluminum supplier and strategic partner to the global automotive industry,' said Jacques Bougie, president and chief executive officer of Alcan. 'Our partnership with Ford is taking aluminum use to the next level in the automotive industry and will help Ford to provide consumers with more fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly vehicles.'

The aluminum supply agreement will allow Ford to predict the cost of its expanding aluminum needs. Alcan will provide metal in various forms, including foundry ingot for cast products and flat-rolled autobody sheet for use in Ford's stamping plants. Alcan will also provide design and technology support services. Ford will purchase minimum monthly volumes of metal, with options for additional amounts as required. Details and financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

'This aluminum supply arrangement is a breakthrough,' said Andrew Hinkly, Ford's director, raw materials, global purchasing, 'in not only cost and quality, but it will enable Ford to remain focused on innovative applications for aluminum. With its flexibility of product forms, this agreement with Alcan will help us to continue growing our aluminum usage and our leadership in this area.'

At minimum levels, the supply agreement will fill at least 50 percent of Ford's aluminum body sheet requirements and 25 percent of its wheel alloy needs and will support a wide range of other applications. This agreement is in addition to existing contracts for the supply of Alcan aluminum finstock used by Ford in its automotive heating, air conditioning and engine cooling systems.

The supply agreement strengthens a decade-long partnership between the two companies in the advancement of technologies and applications for the increased use of automotive aluminum. Alcan continues to be Ford's strategic partner in the development of aluminum-intensive vehicles, including the innovative hybrid-electric Prodigy unveiled earlier this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Through the application of numerous leading-edge technologies, the Prodigy achieves a fuel economy of nearly 80 miles per gallon without sacrificing performance or functionality.

Richard B. Evans, president of Alcan Global Fabrication Group, said the supply agreement capitalizes on Alcan's 20 years of research and development into aluminum technology for vehicle applications and further reflects its ongoing 'partnership for progress' with Ford.

Evans added, 'This agreement represents a significant amount of metal and an important sign of continued commitment by Ford to both aluminum and Alcan,' he said. 'It provides a further opportunity to demonstrate the value of aluminum as a cost-effective automotive material that can respond to the industry's environmental challenges while performing to the highest levels of driver expectations.'
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