American value-added aluminium producer Arconic announced a multi-year supply deal with Toyota North America on Sunday.
The agreement will have Arconic supplying Toyota with aluminium for the automaker’s Lexus RX (AL20). The fourth generation of the model made its debut in the automotive market during the last model year, and is Toyota’s first North American model to prominently feature aluminium exterior panels.
“Automakers worldwide are turning to aluminum for the stronger, tougher, higher performing vehicles that consumers demand,” said the President of Arconic’s Aerospace & Automotive Products business Mark Vrablec. “Many bestselling vehicles in America have already converted to aluminum for improved performance, including better fuel efficiency, more towing and payload capacity, and improved vehicle safety scores. This trend will continue. We are proud to expand our relationship with Toyota.”
The agreement in question cements Arconic as Toyota North America’s lone aluminium sheet supplier. Arconic plans to supply the materials contemplated under the contract to Toyota’s Cambridge, Ontario plant from its plants in Danville, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa.
Arconic expects automotive sheet demand to grow in the coming years. The firm earned $76 million from the sale of automotive sheet in 2010 and expects to see that number balloon to $1.3 billion in 2018. In addition, Arconic derives 98% of its revenues in its automotive portfolio from products where it is within the top two producers of said product in the segment.
The Lexus RX was first released in Japan in 1997 as the Toyota Harrier. It became the RX upon entering the export market the next year. The current generation of the model hit the car show circuit in the spring of 2015 and made it to the showroom floor that November. Built on the Toyota K platform, the model is offered with a 2.0 L inline four cylinder, a 3.5 L V6 gasser, and a 3.5 L V6 hybrid.