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The Aluminum Transportation Group Announces New Leadership

September 26, 2016

ARLINGTON, VA. — The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) today announces its new Chairman John Thomas, global marketing manager of automotive at Alcoa. Preceding Thomas is Tom Boney who was recently promoted to vice president of North American operations at Novelis. Ganesh Panneer, vice president and general manager of automotive, North America, Novelis, assumes the role of ATG vice chairman.

"These new appointments will ensure that the aluminum industry’s transportation group remains well-positioned as the adoption of aluminum solutions continues to accelerate across the auto sector,” said Heidi Brock, Aluminum Association president and CEO. “The Aluminum Association thanks Tom Boney for his leadership as Chairman and welcomes our new Chairman John Thomas and Vice Chairman Ganesh Panneer.”

Since 2014, Boney served as chairman of the ATG, steering the group through a phase of marked growth in body structures and closure parts in the automotive sector thanks in part to the introduction of the world’s first high-volume aluminum-bodied pickup. With Boney at the helm, the ATG remained an advocate for fact-based discussions on the benefits of lightweighting with aluminum to increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions in passenger cars and trucks.

Thomas brings more than 20 years of engineering and commercial experience to the ATG, having been integral to the design and development of key lightweighting components for the automotive industry.  Joining Alcoa in 2008, Thomas has been responsible for Alcoa’s global rolled products largest accounts with automakers and multi-national tier one customers. Today, he helps shape Alcoa’s product and technology innovation strategies.

“It is a privilege to assume this leadership role as the aluminum industry embarks on the next phase of growth to help shape the future of automotive design,” said Thomas. “Aluminum solutions are tougher, safer, more environmentally sustainable, and create greater design flexibility for automakers.  It’s an exciting time to help lead the industry forward to even greater success.”

Panneer brings 17 years of industry experience in sales, operations, strategy and product management to the ATG vice-chair role. Panneer began his career with Novelis in 2011 as director of corporate strategy, transitioning into the North America automotive director of sales position. In 2013, he moved to Europe as vice president and general manager of specialties for the region. In September 2016, he was promoted to lead Novelis’ North American automotive business, including sales activities, program launch and development, supply chain and logistics, service and order fulfillment, and demand forecasting.

“I am honored and humbled to join the ATG executive team, a group of leaders I’ve enjoyed collaborating with over the years,” said Panneer. “During this important time for our industry, we will continue to work with OEMs and partners to meet their needs for innovative lightweighting solutions.”

Fueled by more than 40 years of consistent growth, aluminum promises to play an even larger role during the next decade as the material helps automakers address today’s efficiency challenges while achieving tomorrow’s vision. Through its newly redesigned website, DriveAluminum.org, monthly newsletters and Twitter account (@DriveAluminum) the ATG communicates the benefits of aluminum and provides up-to-date information on the metal’s accelerated penetration in transportation applications.

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About the Aluminum Association's Aluminum Transportation Group
Through its Aluminum Transportation Group, the Aluminum Association communicates the benefits of aluminum in ground transportation applications to help accelerate its penetration through research programs and related outreach activities. The ATG’s mission is to serve member companies and act as a central resource for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries on aluminum issues. Members of the ATG include: Alcoa Inc., Aleris, Aluminum Precision Products, Constellium, Hydro, Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, Novelis Inc., Pennex, Rio Tinto and Sapa. Visit us online at DriveAluminum.org and follow us on Twitter @DriveAluminum

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