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Jaguar XJ's Performance Enhanced by Alcoa's Cast Components.

Business Editors/Automotive Writers

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 3, 2003

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) announced today that the Jaguar XJ marks the first application of its Vacuum Die Castings (AVDC) technology to enhance the driving performance of a luxury sedan with a unibody architecture. Seven Alcoa VDC castings stiffen the XJ's underbody to improve ride and handling.

Alcoa Advanced Transportation Systems produces 11 AVDC castings for the XJ. Seven are delivered directly to Jaguar for the body structure and four are produced for Wagon, a large Tier 1 European supplier, as part of the XJ door structure. Jaguar's new advertising campaign highlights the aluminum content of the vehicle.

"Improved stiffness, ride and handling and structural performance are just some of the advantages that Alcoa automotive products are capable of providing," according to Rick Milner, president of the Alcoa Advanced Transportation Systems. "Our goal is to work with companies like Jaguar from concept forward to help them design and deliver vehicles that will enhance the driving experience of their customers."

The XJ's seven AVDC components, which accept and distribute incoming stress throughout the body structure, include the central drive shaft support, two pedestal brackets, two rear shock towers and two front shock towers. The two front shock towers function as dynamic, load-bearing parts with the suspension upper link arms being directly connected. They were designed by Alcoa and are distinguished by their size and complex geometry. These specific parts provide significant part consolidation as well as a 30% weight saving over conventional steel components.

The four AVDC castings supplied to Wagon are used for the front and rear panels for the vehicle's doors. The strength of these castings is essential as they carry the attachment loads for the doors to the body structure. Their design also facilitates the insertion of many additional components included in the assembly of the XJ's doors.

In addition to the AVDC castings, Alcoa also provides two components made from the Alcoa green sand casting process (AGSC). These components, a gear box cradle, rear tow hook brackets and crash box coupling components, are also sourced directly to Jaguar.

The AVDC castings are produced for the XJ by Alcoa's plant in Soest, Germany. The AGSC components are produced in the company's British Casting Center in Leyland, England.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000 employees in 41 countries. For more information go to www.alcoa.com
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 3, 2003
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