Vehicle weight reduction accelerated in importance following the 1973 oil crisis. The Ford Motor Company reduced average vehicle weight by approximately 1000 pounds between 1975 and 1980 through downsizing, design efficiencies and material substitutions.
This emphasis on vehicle downsizing and weight reduction has provided an opportunity to evaluate magnesium against conventional U.S. automotive materials.. This paper describes magnesium’s advantages and disadvantages for automotive and assesses its future role in weight reducetion. Magnesium’s potential is analyzed from a business standpoint including cost/supply, technical and timing issues.