The Altair Enlighten Awards, which honor advances in lightweighting technology, are the automotive industry’s equivalent of The Biggest Loser. This year, General Motors took top honors at the awards ceremony, where there was more than one joke about how the unwieldy plastic trophy could have benefited from the latest in lightweighting technology. GM winnowed the weight of its 2019 Chevy Silverado by 9%—450 lbs. less than the 2018 version—with the help of thinner, stronger new steels, unspecified “new assembly processes” and computer simulation that models the best thickness for each part to meet safety and other requirements.

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