In recent years, global automobile wheels have become more and more lightweight. Therefore, the selection of automobile wheel materials has become increasingly lighter in weight, good in all aspects, high in surface quality, recyclable and low in price. Aluminum alloy wheels are a material-intensive, labor-intensive, low-value-added product. In addition, aluminum casting is an industry with pollution, high energy consumption, and poor working conditions for workers. Not interested, the aluminum alloy wheel industry has gradually shifted to the third world. Volkswagen has closed its very good aluminum alloy wheel factory and directly purchases its products. The development of China's aluminum alloy wheel industry has only a dozen years of history. It is an emerging auto parts industry, but it is developing rapidly. The wheel consists of a rim and spokes, between the tire and the axle, and is a rotating component that bears the load. The wheel hub is an important part of the car, which not only affects the safety and handling of the car, but also has an important impact on the energy saving and environmental protection of the car.
For the automobile wheel industry, the upstream raw material is mainly aluminum, and the downstream demand market is mainly the automobile manufacturing industry and the automobile after-sales maintenance market. As the main raw material of automobile wheels, aluminum alloy has a cost as high as 60%-70% in the manufacture of automobile wheels. Therefore, the output of aluminum alloy has a greater impact on the manufacturing cost of automobile wheels. In the past ten years, China's aluminum alloy output has increased year by year. The increase in aluminum alloy output has ensured the sufficient supply of upstream raw materials and the stable development of the automobile wheel industry. Entering 2019, China's aluminum alloy output rose slightly year-on-year. From January to June, China's aluminum alloy output totaled 4.029 million tons, an increase of 5.25% year-on-year. This fully reflects the rapid development of China's aluminum industry and the increase in market demand.
The main downstream of secondary aluminum is the automobile industry. In the proportion of aluminum alloy castings for automobiles, cylinder liners, cylinder heads, pistons, and engine intake manifolds account for more than 60%. Automobile wheels accounted for 15.7%. China is a big exporter of automobile wheels, ranking first in the world every year. However, in 2019, the Sino-US trade relationship has reversed one after another, and the instability of the macro situation and the global economic downturn have brought many effects on the import and export of automobile wheels. The slowdown in automobile production and sales growth also affects the development of the aluminum alloy wheel industry. According to data, from January to December 2019, my country's automobile production and sales were 25.721 million and 25.769 million, down 7.5% and 8.2% year-on-year. It is foreseeable that the growth rate of China's aluminum alloy wheel production and sales will also decline in the next few years.
With the rise of China's alloy wheel industry, China has gradually become the global automotive aluminum alloy wheel manufacturing center. While domestic wheel companies are meeting the needs of the domestic market, they are also actively exploring the international market. In 2019, the cumulative export value of China's aluminum alloy wheels was US$4.036 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 14.8%. The cumulative export volume was 90.38 million (calculated at 10Kg/piece), a year-on-year decrease of 9.1%. Among them, exports in December: 71 companies with ≥10,000 units, 28 companies with ≥50,000 units, 16 companies with ≥100,000 units, 6 companies with ≥200,000 units, and 3 companies with ≥500,000 units.
At present, many major international automobile manufacturers have come to China to establish joint ventures and continue to invest in China, showing a strong willingness to invest. For example, Volkswagen and Citroen have increased their investment in China and provided them to the Chinese market. Household economy cars, increasing their market share in China's car market. Despite the rapid development of my country's automobile industry, there are still many gaps compared with industrialized automobile powers. One of them is that there is a certain gap between automobile materials and foreign countries, and the aluminumization rate of automobiles is still relatively low. Aluminum consumption is only about 40-50kg. With the acceleration of the world's automobile lightweight process, especially after joining the WTO, competition in the automobile market is becoming increasingly fierce. Energy-saving and lightweight automobiles have become a necessary trend for the development of my country's automobile industry.
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