Industry Announces Global Cooperation to Address Market Potential In Automotive Applications

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

    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
     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