Aluminum Industry Announces New Detroit Office & Strategic Global Cooperation Actions Strengthen Aluminum's Support of Automotive Customers

Sep 09, 1999, 01:00 ET from Aluminum Association

    DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- To build upon the growing
 partnerships between the automotive and aluminum industries, The Aluminum
 Association today announced plans to open a Detroit-based office and create a
 global cooperation of nine national trade associations on automotive aluminum.
 These two moves are seen as important steps by the aluminum industry to better
 respond to automotive customer expectations and to more closely serve their
 needs, both domestically and internationally.
     Expected to open in the fourth quarter of 1999, The Aluminum Association's
 new office will serve as a resource for customers, members and other auto
 suppliers to coordinate pre-competitive research, marketing initiatives and
 related projects.
     Speaking at The Aluminum Association's annual meeting in Dearborn, Richard
 B. Evans, President of Alcan Global Fabrication Group and Chairman of the
 Board of the Association noted, "Our new Detroit presence will provide a
 singular focus for the aluminum industry to better serve the needs of our
 customers in the auto industry.  By opening this office in the heart of Motor
 City, the aluminum industry is literally and figuratively taking a giant step
 closer to its automotive customer base."  He added, "Aluminum companies  --
 both collectively and individually -- intend to increase partnerships with
 auto manufacturers as they reinvent the motor vehicle for the 21st Century."
     The office announcement comes just three months after formation of the
 Auto-Aluminum Alliance, in which both industries are now identifying and
 pursuing ways to further accelerate the use of aluminum in mass-produced
 vehicles. The new office will be lead by a soon-to-be named Association Vice
 President -- an experienced senior executive with a solid background in the
 auto industry.   The goal of the office will be to promote pre-competitive
 research programs and actions that will lead to mass-produced, aluminum
 intensive vehicles in the near future.  The office will also serve as a
 central resource for auto companies on aluminum questions and it will
 coordinate joint auto/aluminum industry research projects now underway with
 the Auto Aluminum Alliance.
     In a related effort, Evans also announced a new strategic cooperative
 agreement among the world's aluminum companies, represented through their nine
 national trade associations, on issues related to the automotive application
 of aluminum.
     According to Evans, "Today's automakers have global operations and are
 seeking to harmonize differing government standards to improve their economies
 of scale.  This new international aluminum cooperative agreement recognizes
 the need for international solutions and is designed to parallel the
 structures of the car companies in addressing these challenges on a global
     Initially, the collaboration will set up mechanisms to more closely share
 information on automotive applications, issues and research on an ongoing
 basis.  Once clear lines of communications are established, it is expected the
 international cooperation will work on joint research and marketing projects
 designed to meet the needs of automotive customers around the world.
     Steve Larkin, President of The Aluminum Association concluded, "Auto
 Aluminum use continues to skyrocket as more and more manufacturers take
 advantage of its inherent environmental, safety, and performance advantages.
 By opening a Detroit office, and by better coordinating global aluminum-
 related activities, the aluminum industry will be better positioned to help
 automakers build next-generation vehicles that are affordable, safe and
 exciting to drive."
     Members of the aluminum industry's new global cooperative agreement will
 combine the resources and initiatives of The Aluminum Association Inc. (AAI),
 Washington, D.C.; the International Primary Aluminium Institute (IPAI),
 London; the European Aluminium Association (EAA), Brussels; the Australian
 Aluminium Council, Manuka; the Aluminium Association of India, Bangalore; the
 Associacao Brasileira Do Aluminio (ABAL), Sao Paulo; the Japan Aluminium
 Federation (JAF), Tokyo; the Aluminium Association of Canada, Montreal; and
 the Aluminium Federation of South Africa (AFSA), Isando (For more information
 on this Global Cooperation, see related release, also dated, September 9,
     The Aluminum Association, based in Washington, DC, represents U.S.
 producers of primary and secondary aluminum, as well as fabricated and semi-
 fabricated products.  Member companies operate approximately 200 plants in 35

SOURCE Aluminum Association