Lightweighting Takes Center Stage at NAIAS

    January 22, 2014

Every year, people from around the world are drawn to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). There’s no question that anyone visiting this year’s show will walk away with vehicle lightweighting top of mind.

From the all-aluminum body of the Ford F-150 to the use of carbon fiber in the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, this year’s North American Car of the Year, the industry has moved full force into the production of lightweight vehicles.

Hidden under a cloak of invisibility, or in our case shiny automotive paint jobs, Henkel lightweight materials are making it possible to introduce these lighter cars. In fact, adhesives are often the only possible option to join mixed materials together, while surface pretreatment ensures protection from corrosion — a common concern with lightweight material like aluminum. Recently, I discussed why during an interview with Autoline Detroit’s John McElroy.

But vehicle lightweighting is about more than reducing weight and improving fuel economy. It’s about contributing to a better environment. Replacing two pounds of steel with one pound of aluminum saves 20 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the vehicle, according to Alcoa. That’s significant! 

I couldn’t be happier that NAIAS is highlighting the need for the automotive industry to continue lightweighting efforts in order to achieve the CAFE 2025 fuel emission standards. As members of the automotive community, we all play a part in lightweighting.

What are you doing to lighten up?

About the Author, Chuck Evans

Chuck Evans is Corporate Vice President at Henkel Corporation’s automotive group. Evans leads sales, operations, strategic planning and overall business management for the company. He has nearly 30 years of experience at Henkel, previously serving in a variety of sales, marketing and technical roles. Evans earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and philosophy from Illinois State University and completed executive management studies at Harvard and Insead, France.

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