SHANGHAI, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Novelis Inc., the world's leading producer of premium aluminum rolled products, today signed an agreement with the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District to build the company's first automotive sheet manufacturing facility in China. The agreement, which includes land use rights to more than 160 acres, was signed today at a formal ceremony in Changzhou City in the Jiangsu Province of China.
Novelis is the world's leading producer of rolled aluminum for the global automotive market and the leading provider of aluminum sheet to the rapidly expanding Chinese automobile industry. The wholly owned, $100-million plant will have a capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year and is expected to be commissioned for operation in late 2014.
"The agreement we signed today marks another important milestone in the execution of Novelis' global strategy," said Philip Martens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novelis. "This latest investment in world-class manufacturing assets further solidifies Novelis' position as the partner-of-choice for global automotive manufacturers seeking to drive fuel efficiency, high performance and innovative design in current and next-generation vehicles. Aluminum is a sustainable choice for automotive customers with its infinite recyclability and low weight that helps reduce vehicle emissions."
Novelis expects demand for aluminum in the global automotive sector to grow at a compound annual rate of 25 percent over the next five years as auto manufacturers look for ways to make their vehicles more fuel efficient. The move into China will position Novelis as the only aluminum sheet supplier capable of serving automotive customers in all major markets of the world. Novelis is the leader in automotive sheet supply in Europe where light-weight aluminum has become a popular alternative to steel for vehicle makers. And, as previously announced, to meet growing demand in North America the company is expanding its footprint there with a $200-million project to increase automotive sheet capacity by 200,000 tons per year.
Located in the heart of the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District, the new site is close to vital rail lines, the Changzhou deep water port on the Yangtze River and other world-class business and commercial infrastructure. The company plans to ship rolled aluminum coils manufactured at its South Korean operations to the new facility in Changzhou for heat treatment and finishing before delivery to automotive customers within China as well as to export markets. Current Novelis auto sheet customers include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo, among others.
"Our intention is to grow our leadership position in the Chinese marketplace," said Erwin Mayr, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer for Novelis. "Within Asia, China will have the highest demand growth for flat-rolled aluminum products. In addition to automotive, we expect Asian demand for aluminum used in beverage cans and consumer electronics to more than double by 2020. This site will allow us to address future expansion opportunities in such premium market sectors."
Novelis Inc. is the global leader in aluminum rolled products and aluminum can recycling. The company operates in 11 countries, has nearly 11,000 employees and reported revenue of $10.6 billion in fiscal year 2011. Novelis supplies premium aluminum sheet and foil products to automotive, transportation, packaging, construction, industrial, electronics and printing markets throughout North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Novelis is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited (BSE: HINDALCO), one of Asia's largest integrated producers of aluminum and a leading copper producer. Hindalco is a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. For more information, visit www.novelis.com and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Novelis.
Statements made in this news release which describe Novelis' intentions, expectations or predictions may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include anticipated plant capacity and expected aluminum demand growth in Asia. Novelis cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. We do not intend, and we disclaim any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Important risk factors which could impact outcomes are included under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2011.
SOURCE Novelis Inc.