Novelis and ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks on May 22 announced the signing of a cooperation agreement for the development of tailored aluminum blanks. Individual aluminum sheets of different grades, thicknesses, and coatings will be joined to produce customized stamping blanks used by automakers for the production of lightweight body parts such as doors and hoods, as well structural components such as crossmembers and longitudinal members. The targeted use of materials in tailored aluminum blanks allows for the elimination of reinforcements and overlapping joints that would otherwise be required, thus saving material, reducing total weight, and cutting cost. The gains in process efficiency and the reduction in vehicle weight will further contribute to reduced CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy for automobile manufacturers, the companies say. Tailored aluminum blanks can also contribute to improved crash performance through the selective use of high-strength aluminum alloys. Novelis describes itself as "the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling." ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks claims to be "the leading manufacturer of innovative, customized steel solutions for the automotive industry."