At the Automotive News World Congress during this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Novelis had the opportunity to discuss vehicle innovation. In the past year, the industry has made many strides in advancing automotive technology, streamlining the manufacturing process and creating innovative new supply-side materials; however, there are still many issues we must face collectively to advance as an industry.
How will tomorrow’s vehicles live up to today’s increasing consumer, regulatory and environmental pressures? How will automakers continue to reimagine the automobile, keeping in mind the consumer’s need for performance, as well as increasing fuel economy standards in nations around the world?
These are questions we cannot answer in silos. Rather, the key to innovation is collaboration. The vehicles of tomorrow will be multi-material, using aluminum, steel, carbon fiber and other materials in concert to meet market demands and pressures. Playing one pivotal role will be aluminum, a rising material of choice that offers safe, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective ways of boosting fuel economy while cutting carbon emissions to suit the evolving needs of manufacturers.
Our new aluminum alloys lead the way for manufacturers to meet new industry standards for fuel economy, safety, performance and durability. Aluminum provides strength and controlled energy absorption for superior support, dent resistance and passenger protection for added safety without increasing overall weight. At the same time, retaining enough flexibility to fit a wide range of new, streamlined automotive body design styles. These innovations are providing manufacturers with new opportunities and ushering in an accelerated transition to aluminum across the industry.
We’re partnering on aluminum innovation with our customers on vehicles like the Ford F-150 – the world’s first aluminum-intensive pick-up and the newly named winner of the 2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year– and the new Jaguar XE – the first vehicle in the mid-size car range to feature an aluminum-intensive body structure, made with 75 percent recycled content Novelis aluminum. New vehicles debuting at this year’s NAIAS, such as the Acura NSX, Audi Q7, Chevrolet Bolt and Jaguar F-Pace, are further evidence of automakers transitioning to aluminum.
At Novelis, we take automotive material innovation seriously and we’re committed to providing unparalleled research, technology and testing to continue to improve the marketplace. Currently 40 percent of our research and testing projects underway at the Novelis Global Research and Technology Center are in support of the automotive market, and we’ve recently commissioned the most advanced automotive pretreatment pilot line in the world to ensure we’re providing the best possible materials and solutions to our customers. We’re always developing new pretreatment solutions, optimizing existing alloys and developing next-generation products to meet the evolving needs of our customers and to deliver higher-performing products year after year.
It’s an exciting time for automotive innovation, and at Novelis, we’re in it for the long haul – for our customers, for the consumer and to help better the world we live in.
This blog post was updated on January 11, 2016.