MAGNA INTERNATIONAL will build a new aluminium casting facility in the UK to support Jaguar Land Rover’s development of lightweight cars.
Construction of the 20,000 m2 facility in Telford will begin in Q3 this year with production set to begin in 2018. The plant will use Magna’s high-pressure vacuum die-casting process to produce lightweight aluminium castings. These have become a key building block in the construction of the next generation of cars, providing strength and stiffness along with less weight to help meet stricter regulations on fuel use.
Traditional body design involves welding multiple components together. Single aluminium casting produces more uniform pieces.
“We are excited to work closely with Jaguar Land Rover in the development of this project which will bring the most advanced structural casting technologies to the UK,” said John Farrell, president of Cosma International, an operating unit of Magna International.
Jaguar says that introducing aluminium body structures has helped it reduce the weight of its cars by as much as 40%.
The shift from heavier steel to aluminium is proving important for electric cars too. Electric car manufacturer Tesla chose to use aluminium in its Model S car. The battery makes up the majority of the weight in an electric car, so replacing steel body parts with aluminium extends the driving range. The short distances that can be travelled on a single electric charge have served as a handbrake on the wider shift away from petrol cars.
Magna’s new plant will create 295 jobs, the company said.
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