A recent article in American Metal Market reveals that steel will remain the material of choice for automakers. According to Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) advanced high-strength steels continue to grain traction among automakers, sometimes at the expense of competing materials such as aluminum.
SMDI President Lawrence Kavanagh told AMM, “Right now we’re working on vehicles that are going to launch in ’17, ’18 and ’19, which is why I know you are going to see continued high adoption of high-strength steels.”
This is good news for the steel industry after Ford Motor Co. announced it is making its F-150 pickup with an aluminum body-in-white.
Ronald Krupitzer, SMDI’s vice president for the automative market says there has been “keen interest” from automakers to have high-strength steels for trucks, SUVs and larger sedans as far out as the 2018 model year and just because aluminum is seeing interest from automakers now doesn’t mean the trend will prove durable.
If you remember back to the 1980’s there was an effort to put plastic body panels on vehicles and that lost popularity very quickly. Metal came back, and steel predominantly replaced plastic in all cases.