The Canadian Press – MONTREAL – A rapidly aging population means the aluminum industry needs to look beyond the high demand for lightweight cars if it wants to grow long into the future, a Canadian demographer said Tuesday.
University of Toronto economics professor David Foot told an aluminum conference that spending patterns will shift as people age, potentially impacting the long-term demand for the metal.
“When we get into our 60s and 70s, we drive our automobiles a little less, we fly a little less, so some of the current uses of aluminum which are great, are not going to be long-term growth prospects,” he said in an interview.
The aluminum sector foresees “game changing” demand from planes, trains and automobiles, which are increasingly using the metal to lower the weight and improve fuel efficiency and environmental emissions.
For instance, automaker giant Ford already plans on reducing the weight of its F-150 pickup truck by increasing the amount of aluminum used to 315 kilograms from 45 kilograms on current models.