Each 10 percent weight reduction can result in a 5 to 7 percent fuel savings, the company says.
The opening makes Novelis the only company to produce automotive aluminum sheet in all three of the world’s major automobile producing regions: Asia, Europe and North America.
The facility, located in the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District, represents a $100 million investment by Novelis to expand its global footprint to serve the growing market for automotive aluminum. With an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tons, the new facility will assist China in meeting its environmental goals and provide customers in Asia and abroad with automotive sheet for use in lightweight vehicle structures and body panels such as hoods, doors, fenders and lift gates.
Since 2011, Novelis has invested more than $550 million globally to triple its automotive sheet capacity to 900,000 metric tons by 2015.
In other vehicle lightweighting efforts, BMW and Audi AG are among more than 70 companies and organizations backing a materials-development group that says it’s getting closer to large-scale manufacturing of cars made with carbon fiber.