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News

MERCEDES BENZ CHOOSES ALCAN

Alcan Automotive : 20 September, 2004  (Company News)
Alcan Inc will be supplying aluminum bumpers to Mercedes-Benz for its second-generation A-Class compact car, set to appear in European dealerships this fall. The bumpers will be produced at Alcan's dedicated automotive structures plant in Gottmadingen, Germany.
'I am very pleased that Mercedes Benz recognized Alcan's bumper system for the benefits it delivers to the A-Class on two fronts,' said Michel Jacques, president and CEO of Alcan Engineered Products. 'It improves crash energy management thanks to aluminum's superior energy absorption, and it improves vehicle performance by reducing weight.'

The bumper system is part of a package of safety improvements for the redesigned vehicle. As a result, Mercedes-Benz says the car offers a high level of passenger safety, considering its compact dimensions.

The system consists of an extruded aluminum beam attached to the vehicle structure by Alcan's patented 'crash boxes'. To meet the tight packaging requirements of the compact A-Class, the bumper beam is made of a low profile, twin-chambered aluminum extrusion. The innovative crash boxes attach directly to the vehicle structure without the need for mounting plates, further contributing to the low weight of this cost-effective solution.

The complete front bumper module, along with the headlamp mounts and the radiator support, forms a sturdy front-end assembly that can absorb all of the crash energy in collisions up to 15 km/h and protects the engine and longitudinal member against damage. The bumper system is bolted to the structure, making repair and replacement easier and quicker than with traditional welded assemblies. To improve pedestrian safety, Alcan also designed the bumper to incorporate a foam block that sits in front of the beam and reduces the risk of injury in very low-speed accidents.
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