Novelis Marks Start-Up of Automotive Center With Order for DaimlerChrysler

ATLANTA, March 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novelis Inc. (NYSE: NVL) (TSX: NVL) today marked the start-up of a new laser-cutting center for aluminum automotive sheet at its rolling mill in Sierre, Switzerland, with the announcement that the center's first order will be for DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.

Laser-cut, shaped aluminum sheets for the production of the front fender on the all-new C-Class are being supplied from Sierre to DaimlerChrysler's Tier One supplier's stamping plant at East London in South Africa. Novelis also supplies sheet, in coil form, for the C-Class models produced at the automaker's Sindelfingen, Bremen and Hamburg plants in Germany.

The Sierre rolling mill is one of the world's most advanced facilities for the production of aluminum automotive sheet.

Erwin Mayr, president of the Automotive, Painted and Specialities business unit for Novelis Europe, said, "We are pleased that our specialized sheet has been chosen to be part of the new C-Class, which DaimlerChrysler says aims to raise the bar for its segment in terms of safety, comfort and agility through the use of innovative, high-performance technologies."

Novelis invested 3.3 million euro (US$4.3 million) in the new line at Sierre, which features a fully-automated, high-speed laser system for producing tailored shapes that its customers then stamp, or press, into finished automotive body panels. The shaped sheets approximate the outline of the finished panel, thereby reducing excess trim material.

Novelis operates a similar laser centre at its Nachterstedt plant in Germany and also supplies aluminum blanks in North America. Novelis is the only company capable of producing high-performance aluminum automotive sheet in both Europe and North America. The Company is a leading supplier of aluminum sheet for a number of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including the popular E-Class and S-Class models.

DaimlerChrysler expects the new C-Class to appear in European showrooms at the end of March and in North America in the following weeks. The previous C- Class was one of the most popular vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, with sales exceeding two million units.

Novelis Inc. is the global leader in aluminum rolled products. The Company operates in 11 countries, has approximately 12,900 employees, and reported revenue of $9.8 billion in 2006. Novelis offers the capability to provide its customers with a regional supply of technologically sophisticated rolled aluminum products throughout Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Through its advanced production capabilities, the Company supplies aluminum sheet and foil to the automotive and transportation, beverage and food packaging, construction and industrial, and printing markets. For more information, visit

SOURCE Novelis Inc.