BMW using more and more aluminum to reduce vehicle weight

2011 BMW 5 Series

Aluminum is worth its weight in gold to auto manufacturers when one considers how much weight is saved and efficiency gained by its use. BMW is one such company that realizes this, and is making use of more and more aluminum in its production. Plus, it can be recycled.

“The most significant changes were the introduction of aluminum doors and hoods in some models as well as casted structural components,” said Frank Wienstroth, who oversees BMW’s communications on the supply chain and sustainability.

The actual application of aluminum varies between models, with the metal being used primarily for hood and wheel fabrication.

Steel is still the staple of BMW”s conventional vehicle fabrication, as it accounts for about 40% of the weight of new vehicles. While this is not expected to change anytime too soon, steel will soon give way to lighter, more effective materials, as there is a huge push towards more environmentally friendly vehicles.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)