Ducker Worldwide estimated last week that aluminium doors will have gone from virtually non-existent in 2014 to 25 percent of the North American fleet in 2020 – just three years from now.
Aluminium doors were on fewer than five percent of vehicles in 2015. In 2014, only the Tesla Model S had them, according to Ducker.
The consulting firm, whose projections seem to be held in high regard by those tracking light-weighting, also estimated 71 percent of hoods would be aluminium by 2020, up from 50 percent in 2015 and seemingly well on track to meet an earlier projection of 80 percent aluminium hoods by 2025.
And if that weren’t enough to complicate auto body repair, Ducker predicted that bumper beams would grow from 33 percent aluminium in 2015 to 54 percent in 2020.
Ducker automotive and materials director Abey Abraham, who presented the findings recently at the Centre for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Sessions, noted then that one OEM plans to make all future bumper beams out of aluminium extrusions. (Abraham didn’t say which one. If this was a reference to a luxury or exotic OEM, this isn’t as exciting. However, there’s the intriguing possibility that it’s Honda, whose next-generation Civic, Ridgeline and Odyssey all have unrepairable aluminium beams.)
It will be imperative for a shop to have dedicated aluminium tools, space and equipment as well as aluminium-trained techs by 2020. All these will be needed if the shop wants to fix both those latest-model cars – and also repair the smaller concentration of aluminium on the 2015 vehicles, which will make up a large percentage of repair orders that year. The average repairable vehicle is 6–7 years old.
“You need that [dedicated area] when you’re fixing a door ding on an aluminium panel,” Vehicle Collision Experts CEO Mark Olson said on June’s “Repair University Live,” echoing what OEMs have told us.
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This article is courtesy of John Huetter and Repairer Driven News. Check out their website at http://www.repairerdrivennews.com where you will find so much more information.