DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The aluminum industry, through nine of its national trade associations on six continents, will combine efforts to promote aluminum applications in the global automotive market. Richard B. Evans, president of Alcan Aluminum Corporation and Alcan Global Fabrication Group, and Chairman of the Board, The Aluminum Association, unveiled this development during his remarks at the association's Annual Meeting here. This global effort 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. "The transportation market has become our global industry's largest market and the automotive sector provides its largest growth potential," said Evans. "Meeting that potential requires that we effectively present a common front for aluminum to our customers, regardless of where they operate." Donald W. Macmillan, president of Alcan Global Automotive Products, and chairman of The Aluminum Association's Auto and Light Truck Group, added, "This international effort provides the platform to consolidate and expand on many of the successful aluminum initiatives which have previously been national or regional in scope. Bringing together the aluminum associations of the world's leading car manufacturing countries adds an exciting new dimension to global capabilities of the aluminum industry, in step with our customers' worldwide reach." The concept of this "alliance" began earlier this year at the initiative of The Aluminum Association's Auto and Light Truck Group, when the association was invited to make a presentation at the IPAI Annual Meeting in Montreal. A meeting in Brussels followed this, where leaders of The Aluminum Association and EAA automotive committees met to exchange information on research and promotion projects. J. Stephen Larkin, president of The Aluminum Association, said, "Our organizations intend to keep current with one another on breaking issues. We will enhance one another's efforts by exchanging information on our individual, national programs. We all have the same goal: to increase the use of aluminum in the global automotive market." Through the IPAI, the organizations meet twice yearly. Those meetings will serve as the chief communications opportunity for the association executives to interface with one another. Dick Dermer, secretary general of the European Aluminium Association, said that EAA is working on an automotive manual for the European automotive industry to demonstrate the excellent characteristics of aluminum in automotive applications. The association will also be developing European standards for test procedures in formability, surface properties, corrosion, and fatigue. "This is an exciting opportunity for us all," Dermer said. "We certainly welcome the exchange of information and opportunities to work together." Also in his remarks, Evans announced The Aluminum Association will open a Detroit office, staffed by an automotive vice president and technical expert, representing the aluminum industry. "We welcome this initiative," said Robert Chase, secretary general of the IPAI. "Our financial support of the Detroit effort is reflective of our work encouraging those national and regional aluminum associations outside North America with large, locally-based automobile industries to cooperate." IPAI will be contributing $10,000 to The Aluminum Association initiative. Evans added, "The programs envisioned for the alliance are focused on pre- competitive activities that supplement the respective members companies' strategies in increasing aluminum use in automotive applications. "To communicate a global plan, we will work cooperatively and advance this industry to be a leading material for the automotive industry, domestic and international," he said. The Aluminum Association represents primary producers, recyclers, and producers of semi-fabricated products in the United States. Its members operate approximately 200 plants in 35 states. EAA represents primary producers, recyclers and producers of semi- fabricated products. Its members operate approximately 500 plants throughout Europe. The IPAI membership comprises the CEO's of some 30-member companies from 18 different countries across the globe. The membership is responsible for approximately 60% of the world's primary aluminum production.
SOURCE Aluminum Association