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Aluminum sheet capacity in N.A. to increase

Constellium N.V. and UACJ Corp. recently announced their intention to form a joint venture for production of aluminum automotive sheet for body-in-white (BIW) applications. The companies plan to invest $150 million in a new plant that will include a continuous heat treatment and conversion line with an initial target capacity of 100,000 t (110,000 ton) supplied by cold-rolled coils from both partners’ rolling mills. The plant will be designed for expansion. Contellium will own 51% of the equity in the JV, which otherwise the companies consider an “equal partnership.” Automakers in the United States have already started to convert key models from steel to aluminum, "which we believe should translate into a significant increase in demand," Laurent Musy, President of Constellium's Packaging and Automotive Rolled Products business unit, said in a press release. "We estimate that the U.S. market for BIW aluminum rolled products could grow from less than 100,000 tons in 2012 to approximately 1 million tons in 2020. Constellium expects to benefit from this significant growth potential. UACJ is the ideal partner for us to serve U.S. customers with high-quality automotive sheets for body-in-white applications like hoods, doors, roofs, and structural parts of cars and trucks."

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