With a new, aluminum-intensive Ford F-Series Super Duty on the way for 2017, the automaker’s aluminum supplier – Novelis Inc. – will have its hands full.
Reuters reports that the demand for aluminum is one hot area in an otherwise oversupplied industry. Previously, Novelis CEO Steve Fisher had expressed concern about the company’s slower-than-expected transition into automotive supply from other industries, saying that the auto industry was going through a “digestion period” following the Ford F-150‘s announced switch to an aluminum body.
The new F-Series Super Duty is the first major production vehicle to announce a shift toward aluminum since the light duty F-150 made the jump for the 2015 model year. For the F-150, the inclusion of high-strength aluminum contributed to a weight loss of about 700 pounds; the new Ford F-Series Super Duty will lose approximately half that.
Now, Novelis is constructing its third automotive sheet finishing line in Oswego, New York to supply body panels for the 2016 F-Series Super Duty. With both of these high-volume Ford pickup models now promoting the benefits of a lightweight alloy diet, aluminum suppliers like Novelis will hopefully have plenty more contracts in the future.