Bright prospects for the aluminium- and automotive industry

It is no secret that aluminium is used in vehicle constructions to reduce the weight of people’s set of wheels. Nor is the fact that Audi has set a benchmark with its Alu-Space-Frame (ASF).

The new A8 weighs 40 percent less compared to a classic steel auto body and is considered a real lightweight in the high end segment. Despite a mass of two tons it is remarkably efficient. Fuel consumption was reduced by 22 percent; the 3.0 TDI model emits 159 grams carbon dioxide per kilometre while burning 6 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres.

But there are new challenges on the road ahead. The European Union wants new cars to emit a maximum of 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer and no more than 95 grams from 2020.

This likely means that future cars will have to flatten further. “100 kg less weight could save 0,5 liters petrol per 100 kilometres” explains Stefan Kienzle who is responsible for lightweight construction at Daimler. Since new comfort and security kits continue to raise the weight of vehicles, there is a chance for aluminium to prove its mettle.

Meanwhile, the consultants of McKinsey are upbeat about the future. The company has recently forecast successful days for the German automotive industry due to its innovation power and in spite of the fluctuating markets. There is, hence, a silver lining for aluminium, too.