05 October 2009

Alcan Automotive creates JV to capture strong growth of greener products in China

Alcan Engineered & Automotive Solutions (EAS), part of Alcan Engineered Products  – a business unit of Rio Tinto Alcan – signed an agreement with Changchun Engley Automobile Parts Co. Ltd. (Engley) to create a joint venture (JV).

The JV company will be based in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun with a second manufacturing plant located in Kunshan, close to Shanghai, to serve several OEMs in both the northern and southern regions of China.

Alcan Engley Automotive Structures Co. Ltd. will develop and produce crash management systems, instrument panel beams in aluminium and other structural aluminium modules. Alcan Automotive will be the majority shareholder and expects to start supplying products in late 2009.

Alcan’s advanced aluminium lightweight solutions play a significant role in today’s fuel-efficient cars all over the world including China," says Wolfgang Schmitz, President EAS.  "China is posting double digit growth in car sales and will continue to offer exceptional growth opportunities for our engineered products in the coming years.

EAS is a strong partner with outstanding lightweight expertise that nicely complements our broad product offering of steel, aluminium and plastic components,” explains Lin Chi-Pin, Chairman and owner of Engley. “So I’m very pleased that the JV will further reinforce our successful partnership which began in 2002.

Through several project acquisitions in recent years, Alcan EAS has become a preferred supplier of advanced lightweight solutions in Europe and North America. Incorporating the partnership with Engley is the next logical step to grow EAS’s footprint and support the development of aluminium systems for the Chinese and Asian markets. 

These systems provide substantial benefits in weight reduction, safety and structural stiffness, enhancing total pedestrian and vehicle safety while also lowering emissions and improving fuel economy. The Alcan Engley JV sees a strong demand for its products, which help its customers develop the next generation of greener, more fuel-efficient cars in China and Asia.

We are excited about the joint venture with Engley,” says Laurent Castor, General Manager Automotive Structures. “It combines our technological expertise and their market position in a partnership that benefits both businesses. We will now be in an excellent position to serve our global customers locally.

About Alcan Engineered & Automotive Solutions

Alcan Engineered & Automotive Solutions offers its customers design, engineering, testing, and production of structural, safety, and suspension and engine components or modules at its locations in Europe, North America, and Asia. Its lightweight aluminium elements can be successfully incorporated into any vehicle assembly and provide substantial benefits in weight reduction, safety, and structural stiffness. This enhances total pedestrian and vehicle safety in addition to contributing to lower emissions and improved fuel economy.

Working in close partnership with its automotive customers, Alcan Engineered & Automotive Solutions ensures that they derive the full benefits of aluminium and other lightweight materials in vehicle development.

About Alcan Engineered Products

Alcan Engineered Products is a global sector-leading business strongly committed to developing innovative, value-added products for a broad range of markets and applications. Its portfolio consists of seven downstream businesses: aerospace, non commodity aluminium rolled products, aluminium extrusions, cable, composite products, automotive systems and international trade.

About Engley Changchun Automobile Parts Co. Ltd.

Changchun Engley Auto. Parts Co., Ltd., a Taiwan-owned enterprise, is headquartered in Changchun City, Jilin Province of China. In both Suzhou and Changchun, Engley has a strong production base for auto parts and mould manufacturing. Engley is not only a supplier of steel and aluminium crash management and body-in-white modules, but is also the largest Chinese supplier of long glass fibre thermoplastic parts,  specialising in GMT, LFT-D compression and LFT injection parts such as underbody shields, frontends, doors, spare wheel and, among others, pans.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

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Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Europe

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