Business Beat is a new column launching May 2012 in Autobody News. It will focus on investment activities in the automobile and collision industry and will feature guest columnists on a regular basis. Opinions herein are strictly those of the author. Autobody News accepts no responsibility for investment actions taken or not taken based on this column.
Aluminum and light-weight automotive body structures surely go together, no less than light-weight bodies and lower MPG. So, it should be no surprise that the earnings of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) would bring the company into focus once again, especially with the advent of higher MPG requirements by 2016 and 2025.
All of us know that forcing people into smaller cars is not advancement. Even a Ford engineering manager at 2012 NAIAS had the sense to say there is a limit to downsizing engines as well as auto bodies. In fact, he noted the next wave of gains for automotive will have to come from lighter body structures.