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Steel Industry Assures Of Its Importance In Autos, Sustainable Client Base At NAIAS

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Steel Industry Assures Of Its Importance In Autos, Sustainable Client Base At NAIAS
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Regulations might be restricting targeted automakers, but the steel industry considers itself a beneficiary of heightened expectations.

“With the stringent requirements for occupant protection and increasing fuel efficiency requirements and tailpipe emission regulations, the deployment of technology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and steel is at the forefront,” Steel Market Development Institute President Tom Gibson said at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “...Use of advanced high-strength steel has grown tremendously in the last 15 years as a result of the increase in demand for vehicle crashworthiness, mass reduction and cost effectiveness.”

Gibson also sees steel positioned to capitalize on the auto industry’s itch to innovate.

With 200 steel grades of varying properties, the material is seen to expand automakers’ design optionality and enable heightened safety, weight reduction and related improvements in safety, affordability, fuel economy, emissions and recyclability.

“What this means to the consumer is the cost of ownership, including purchase price, insurance and repair, are lower for steel-intensive vehicles than vehicles that are lightweighted with alternate materials,” Jody Hall, vice president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said.

Cross-Industry Collaborations

Considering this client opportunity, the SMDI, whose investors include AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS), Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) and ArcelorMittal SA (ADR) (NYSE: MT), collaborates with automotive companies to deliver lightweight steel solutions.

Partners include Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), where the likes of ArcelorMittal embed resident engineers to foster coengineering and ensure “win-win” solutions for both industries.

Finding Steel On The NAIAS Show Floor

Steel executives claim their value is evident in current end products.

Blake Zuidema, director of automotive product applications division at ArcelorMittal, said the strength of the steel industry is seen in this year’s new vehicle models, including the Chevrolet Bolt and Ram 1500.

“Not only are these vehicles steel intensive vehicles but they showcase how carmakers are making innovative use in the latest of steel technology for car bodies,” Zuidema said, noting that different steel grades are used for different vehicle parts. “We’re now designing unique grades of steel for virtually every individual part of the car.”

Related Links:

NAIAS 2018: VW Works To Earn Back Trust; Toyota, Ram Introduce New Models

Honda, Volvo, Lincoln Win Vehicle Of The Year Awards At NAIAS

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