In 2013, the production capacity of global aluminum alloy automotive body sheets (excluding lorry, trailer, semitrailer, van vehicles and special vehicles) achieved 850 thousand tons/year, the output was approximately 500 thousand tons, of which about 70% were produced by Novelis, Alcoa and Hydro, and the rest was for Japanese companies or other companies. The producers are captains of aluminum industry in developed countries, such as USA, Germany, Japan, France and South Korea.
China aluminum alloy automotive body sheet market started late. Under the limitations of capital, technology and equipment, currently the aluminum alloy sheets for automobile produced by China are mainly applied in automobile hubs, car doors, engines and other parts, so vacancy in aluminum alloy automotive body sheet market still waits to be filled.
According to the statistics, in 2013, the production capacity of aluminum alloy automotive sheet in China was 65 thousand tons and the output was very small. Southwest Aluminum (Group) has developed and trial-produced aluminum alloy automotive body sheet in 2009, but it has not realized large batch production yet.
As one of major aluminum alloy automotive sheet manufacturers in China, Xuzhou Caifa Aluminum Heat Transfer Co., Ltd cooperated with China Automotive Engineering Research Institute Co., Ltd and China University of Mining and Technology in 2010, which have successfully developed 6000 series aluminum alloys for automobile body sheets.
Through making improvement for years, Xuzhou Caifa has invested more than CNY 100 million, forming the annual output of 10 thousand tons of aluminum alloy automotive body sheets. Jiangsu Sanyuan Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd has invested CNY 630 million in constructing the project with the annual output of 50 thousand tons of aluminum alloy automotive body sheets, and the products are used as automotive covering parts to replace steel plates.
Although China is a late starter in this field, with the acceleration of automobile weight reduction, it is predicted that more automobiles will use aluminum alloy plates to produce covering parts (engine hood, trunk lid, roof panel, wheel fender and car door) from 2014 to 2020.
The demand for automotive aluminum plates will exceed 300 thousand tons as of 2020, of which the demand volume for aluminum alloy automotive body sheets will be around 180 thousand tons.
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