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News

Alcan opens first of two North American automotive facilities

Alcan Automotive : 28 April, 2004  (Company News)
Automotive aluminium supplier Alcan Automotive has begun the first phase of its North American expansion with the official opening of a new manufacturing facility in the Detroit area.
Automotive aluminium supplier Alcan Automotive has begun the first phase of its North American expansion with the official opening of a new manufacturing facility in the Detroit area.

The plant and a sister facility under construction in Saguenay, Quebec, represent a US$30-million investment to serve the growing lightweight structural sub-system market in North America.

'We are eager to offer our expertise in the use of lightweight aluminium for structural and crash-management systems to automakers in North America,' noted Dale Ewing, general manager for Automotive Structures North America, part of Alcan's Engineered Products group. 'The technologies and products we have developed in Europe already have generated a groundswell of interest from North American automakers and Tier 1 module suppliers.'

The new facility in Novi will be Alcan's first North American structural components production site. The Novi plant site also will be an administrative centre for sales, manufacturing, engineering and research-and-development for sheet products as well as structural components. Production in Novi will begin within the next 90 days; the Saguenay plant will be operational later this year.

The two plants are part of a long-term plan to bring Alcan's expertise in lightweight structural assemblies to North America. Both plants initially will produce advanced aluminium bumper-beam assemblies for vehicles made in North America by US and Europe-based automakers. The new plants will have the flexibility to produce various structural sub-systems such as instrument-panel supports, engine cradles and sub-frames, as well as bumper systems.

'Locating this first plant in Novi places us conveniently close to our OEM customers in the Detroit area so that we can provide our expertise in product development and assist them with component design,' said Ewing. 'Placing our second plant in Quebec allows us to be close to the resources and manufacturing expertise that Alcan has in the Saguenay region. Together, the two facilities provide a strong and responsive supply base for our customers.'

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