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Alcan Merger with Alusuisse Creates Global Leader in Aluminium-based Automotive Products and Services

Alcan Automotive : 18 October, 2000  (Company News)
Alcan has solidified its position as the world's leading supplier of aluminium-based automotive products and services with the completion today of its merger with Alusuisse Group Ltd. of Switzerland. The merger brings together two of the world's most successful and innovative suppliers of lightweight automotive solutions to create a powerful new partner for automotive manufacturers worldwide.
A new strategic unit called Alcan Global Automotive Solutions, with principal offices in Zurich and Detroit, will provide global leadership for the company's drive to be the preferred supplier for automakers seeking aluminium's performance-enhancing, high-strength advantages. Alcan operating units in Europe and North America will manage manufacturing, sales and service, as well as specific product-related customer programs and business activities for the automotive market.

'With this merger, Alcan ensures that we continue to lead the industry in meeting the rapidly growing demand for automotive aluminium,' said Donald W. Macmillan, who has been named president of Alcan Global Automotive Solutions. Mr. Macmillan previously headed Alcan's global automotive unit based in Detroit. 'Both Alcan and Alusuisse have solid track records in pioneering aluminium-based solutions what we call AlumineeringSM and our combined product and service offering is unmatched in the industry. This expertise is supported by a large, efficient system of primary aluminium production and a strong global fabrication presence. In other words, we not only have the commitment and desire to grow this business, we have the technology and manufacturing scale to follow through.'

In recent years, the transportation market has become the largest and fastest-growing aluminium market sector. In particular, automobile manufacturers are turning increasingly to aluminium-based solutions to help reduce vehicle mass, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions -- while still delivering on consumer demands for performance, safety, comfort and convenience. The combined sales of Alcan and Alusuisse to the automotive market totaled more than US$1.0 billion in 1999, with significant opportunity for growth in the coming years.

In addition to their respective automotive technologies, Alcan and Alusuisse bring complementary customer portfolios. Alcan, which was recently named one of the 'best of the best' automotive aluminium suppliers by readers of Automotive Industries magazine, contributes its long-term, multi-million dollar supply agreements with General Motors Corporation and Ford Motor Company. Alusuisse brings its leading position with European automakers, including Audi producers of the groundbreaking, aluminium intensive A8 and A2 cars.

As a further sign of its commitment to the automotive market, tomorrow Alcan will officially open a US$46-million expansion of its autobody sheet production facility in Kingston, Ontario. The expansion includes updated finishing equipment as well as an integrated handling and packaging system with state-of-the-art robotics. Earlier this month, Alusuisse completed an investment of CHF 25 million (US$14 million) in a new strip-treatment facility for autobody sheet at its Sierre facility in Switzerland.
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