Constellium N.V. (NYSE and Euronext: CSTM) and UACJ Corporation (UACJ) (5741:TSE) announced the official opening of their new manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to supply aluminium automotive body sheet to the North American automotive industry under their joint venture, Constellium-UACJ ABS LLC.
The strategically-located 225,000 square foot facility will house an initial capacity of 100,000 metric tons. It has secured its metal supply with both partners' rolling mills. With cutting-edge equipment and technologies, the facility expects to offer a flat rolled product portfolio for a wide range of applications including closure panels, as well as body structures. The plant is currently in qualification phase, with ramp-up planned over the next two years. As of today, the line is essentially committed with orders from leading automotive OEMs in North America.
"Today's opening represents a significant step towards securing our position as a leading player in the fast growing North American automotive body sheet market," said Simon Laddychuk, Chief Executive Officer of the joint venture. "Constellium and UACJ's combined industrial legacy and best-in-class assets, as well as our leading position in innovation with the opening of a new R&D hub in Plymouth, MI, position the joint venture to be the partner of choice for North American automotive OEMs."
"The opening of the first North American automotive body sheet finishing line with our partner UACJ, is an important milestone in our goal to become a global leader in aluminium automotive solutions," added Jean-Marc Germain, Chief Executive Officer of Constellium. "As a one-stop shop, Constellium is well-positioned to provide automotive OEMs with innovative rolled and extruded products, which lighten vehicle weight, while offering exceptional performance characteristics."
"We are thrilled to be opening this plant at a time when the aluminium automotive market in the US is extremely promising." said Mitsuru Okada, Representative Director & President of UACJ. "We are delighted to contribute to the automotive customers in North America not only with our automotive parts business, but also with Constellium-UACJ's advanced and innovative products with a state of the art continuous annealing and pretreatment line."
"Kentucky is committed to remaining ahead of the curve as the automotive industry evolves," Gov. Matt Bevin said. "Constellium-UACJ's commitment to supplying aluminium sheeting for lighter-weight vehicles stands as a great example of how the Commonwealth's auto industry is moving forward. Congratulations to South Central Kentucky and Constellium-UACJ for establishing what promises to be a very rewarding partnership."
The North American aluminium body sheet market is expanding rapidly to respond to stringent automotive regulations calling for major car weight reduction and fuel efficiency. As a growing number of automotive OEMs integrate aluminium in their models, the use of aluminium automotive body sheet in North America increased from 70kt in 2012 to approximately 500kt in 2015 and is forecasted to reach more than 1,000kt in 2020.
Constellium (NYSE and Euronext: CSTM) is a global sector leader that develops innovative, value added aluminium products for a broad scope of markets and applications, including aerospace, automotive and packaging. Constellium generated EUR5.2 billion of revenue in 2015.
UACJ (5741:TSE) is an aluminum industry leader in a competitive global market. We're striving to secure a foothold in the global marketplace utilizing our global supply and sales networks with hubs in Japan, Thailand and the USA. UACJ has more than 70 group companies throughout the world and boast the world's third largest aluminum production capacity.