February 12, 2014
The creation and retention of hundreds of jobs will be celebrated in the Quad Cities today. Alcoa will hold a ribbon cutting for the recently completed expansion of the Davenport Works.
Spokesman John Riches says construction on the 300 million dollar addition began two years ago - the company wants to increase its capacity to produce aluminum sheet for the auto industry.
"And that's important for them because customers are asking for improved fuel economy and the government, through its CAFE standards, is requiring the automakers to increase their fuel economy."
Hoods and some trunk lids are now made from aluminum, but soon most if not all of the exterior panels will be made from it - including doors, roofs, and quarter panels.
Riches says later this year Ford will begin producing one of its most popular vehicles, the F-150 pickup with an all-aluminum body.
"That switch will save them about 700 pounds in the weight of that vehicle and that's a huge difference and probably going to drive the fuel economy on that truck somewhere in the upper 20's to maybe even low 30's."
The expansion will create 150 jobs, and help retain 200 more, and it supported 150 construction jobs. Riches says it should reach full production by late this year.