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Innovation is king at 2015 Detroit auto show

Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) attracts a variety of industry experts and car enthusiasts alike, including those fascinated in learning about the mid-year lineup of new car models and the concept or dream cars that are prototypes of automobiles of the future.

 

Watch this video report - ArcelorMittal steel at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show:

Advanced High Strength Steel in the picture

The 2015 auto extravaganza did not disappoint in either category. This year’s NAIAS - with nearly one million in attendance - was abuzz with plenty of technical capabilities, such as autonomous driving and 3D printing of future cars. Innovation was clearly the name of the game, with steel providing consumers with many reasons why it remains the material of choice.

“There was a lot of attention on automotive materials at NAIAS and steel was very well represented,” said Brad Davey, chief marketing officer, ArcelorMittal Flat Carbon North America. “There were strong, positive comments from many automakers including Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen. Steel Market Development Institute, an affiliate of American Iron and Steel Institute, also had an excellent and well-attended exhibit showing how and where advanced high-strength steels are used in many of the latest models of cars and trucks.”

The 2015 auto extravaganza did not disappoint in either category. This year’s NAIAS - with nearly one million in attendance - was abuzz with plenty of technical capabilities, such as autonomous driving and 3D printing of future cars. Innovation was clearly the name of the game, with steel providing consumers with many reasons why it remains the material of choice.

“There was a lot of attention on automotive materials at NAIAS and steel was very well represented,” said Brad Davey, chief marketing officer, ArcelorMittal Flat Carbon North America. “There were strong, positive comments from many automakers including Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen. Steel Market Development Institute, an affiliate of American Iron and Steel Institute, also had an excellent and well-attended exhibit showing how and where advanced high-strength steels are used in many of the latest models of cars and trucks.”

Automotive News World Congress

One major event to kickoff the NAIAS is the Automotive News World Congress, Jan. 13-14 – a special conference and information exchange attended by the auto industry elite. More than 1500 auto manufacturers and suppliers participated in this year’s congress.

ArcelorMittal was invited to participate in a supplier panel discussing the hot topic of vehicle innovation. Blake Zuidema, director, product automotive applications, ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development, served on the panel with other top executives from Magna, Novelis and DENSO International America.

“There is a lot of ‘under the skin’ innovation going on,” said Zuidema. “Many new vehicles are still utilizing conventional engines, transmissions with more speeds and the styling is looking a little sleeker. A lot of what we are seeing is the continued interest and advancements in advanced high strength steels (AHSS). 

“Innovation requires protection in intellectual property,” he added. “One of the ways to protect intellectual property is to be way ahead of the competition – so far ahead that it’s going to take them several years to catch up, giving you the opportunity to use your technology before they can.”

Volkswagen Golf: ‘North American Car of the Year 2014’

One highlight of the auto show -- the Volkswagen Golf models that were recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Much has changed in the 30 years since the VW Golf last won the Motor Trend honor, including a total re-design of VW’s various models. The auto magazine praised the Golf makeover stating, “It feels so incredibly well-built . . . a remarkable degree of refinement for a mainstream, C-segment car... a light feeling chassis with tons of grip.” The models are said to have saved about 200 pounds over the previous-generation Golf, with reductions coming from a range of places, especially the body which is made of 80 percent high strength steel for a 51-pound savings.

“This line represents one of the highest concentrations of AHSS and perhaps one of the highest contents of press hardenable steels,” noted Zuidema. “It allows the car to be very light, get excellent fuel economy (the TDI gets an EPA combined rating of 36 mpg and e-Golf an EPA-estimated range of 83 miles). ArcelorMittal had a significant role in these and previous Golf models, including co-engineering with Volkswagen to help them engineer our steels into their vehicles.”

AHSS remain critical to innovation

One highlight of the auto show - the Volkswagen Golf models that were recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Much has changed in the 30 years since the VW Golf last won the Motor Trend honor, including a total re-design of VW’s various models. The auto magazine praised the Golf makeover stating, “It feels so incredibly well-built... a remarkable degree of refinement for a mainstream, C-segment car... a light feeling chassis with tons of grip.”

The models are said to have saved about 200 pounds over the previous-generation Golf, with reductions coming from a range of places, especially the body which is made of 80 percent high strength steel for a 51-pound savings.

“This line represents one of the highest concentrations of AHSS and perhaps one of the highest contents of press hardenable steels,” noted Zuidema. “It allows the car to be very light, get excellent fuel economy (the TDI gets an EPA combined rating of 36 mpg and e-Golf an EPA-estimated range of 83 miles). ArcelorMittal had a significant role in these and previous Golf models, including co-engineering with Volkswagen to help them engineer our steels into their vehicles.”

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