Alcoa says new manufacturing process will yield better aluminum for cars and trucks

Alcoa Inc. is touting a breakthrough in aluminum manufacturing that it says will give the lightweight metal a better chance to replace steel in car doors and fenders.

Alcoa says the process, still in the testing phase, will create metal sheets that are stronger and more easily shaped into auto body parts than current aluminum and are lighter than steel.

Company executives say the aluminum-alloy material could show up in cars by 2018.

Alcoa said Thursday that it has conducted successful tests with automakers and has lined up one as a "strategic-development customer" for aluminum being produced at a pilot mill in San Antonio, Texas. Alcoa declined to name the other companies.