General Motors (GM) has elected to use aluminum sheet supplied by Novelis, in the body of its new aluminum-intensive 2016 Cadillac CT6. The new mixed material vehicle construction featured in the Cadillac CT6 represents a first of its kind for GM in North America and China.
The Cadillac CT6 features a body made of 62% aluminum. Through the use of aluminum and advanced joining techniques, thefull-size Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan has achieved significant weight savings. When compared to a similar size vehicle using predominantly high-strength steel, the CT6 is approximately 220 lbs lighter. Novelis aluminum is featured throughout the vehicle body, including the passenger and rear compartments, roof structure, outer body panels, and door and deck lid structures
“Novelis has been supplying automotive aluminum solutions for premium and performance vehicles for more than 40 years, and the Cadillac CT6 is one of the most advanced body structures we’ve ever worked on,” said Pierre Labat, vice president, Global Automotive, Novelis. “We are proud to be the lead global supplier of aluminum to this new and innovative vehicle program on two continents.”
GM’s advanced joining methods are used to fabricate the CT6 vehicle structure, including GM’s proprietary aluminum spot welding technology to reduce weight and increase strength and efficiencies. Laser welding, flow drill fasteners, and self-piercing rivets are also used, along with nearly 600 feet of advanced structural adhesives. In bending, the Cadillac CT6 has a 10% stiffer body than competitors.
“For the Cadillac CT6, we have developed additional new body construction techniques and technologies allowing various types of advanced and lightweight materials to be combined within the manufacturing environment like never before,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac President “We have invested $300 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to make this possible… These actions will allow us to advance the art of manufacturing and take craftsmanship and manufacturing technology to a new level.”
Novelis’ plant in Kingston, ON, Canada, will supply aluminum sheet to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit, MI, while the company’s plant in Changzhou, China will supply GM’s Shanghai plant, which will produce the CT6 manufactured locally in China.
Novelis automotive aluminum sheet is currently used in 180 vehicle models currently in production by major OEMs around the globe. Since 2011, the company has invested globally to triple its automotive sheet capacity. Novelis expects continued growth in the use of lightweight, mixed-material solutions for automotive applications, including double-digit growth in the global use of automotive aluminum by the end of the decade.