Partnership drives aluminium

Ferrari and Alcoa recently announced the formation of a long-term partnership focused on creating advanced aluminium spaceframe technology for future generations of Ferrari vehicles. Alcoa also announced that it will open a new, larger spaceframe manufacturing facility in Modena, Italy, in the second quarter of 2006.



“What began as a collaboration in the 1990s to develop an aluminium spaceframe for the 360 Modena has now blossomed into a strategic partnership between Ferrari and Alcoa,” said Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari chairman.



According to Alcoa’s Chairman Alain Belda, the Ferrari-Alcoa partnership has been especially productive because of Ferrari’s willingness to involve Alcoa at the outset of the vehicle development process. “Without this early involvement, the switch from steel to aluminium would not have taken place without such excellent results,” Mr. Belda noted.



The new facility will cover 5,000 square metres, almost doubling the size of Alcoa’s current manufacturing space. When fully operational in mid-2006, the new facility will double Alcoa’s spaceframe production capacity.



“This plant expansion gives us the design flexibility and manufacturing scale to bring new and innovative concepts, such as modularity, to our spaceframe structures,” added William F. Christopher, Alcoa’s Executive Vice President for Transportation Products. “It also gives us a chance to re-design our production lines to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and expand the automation of our current processes.”