Lighter and Tougher Products are Rolled out by Steel Makers

According to Frost & Sullivan, in the field of metal field the material used in global vehicles goes as follows: aluminum takes 9%, plastics, including carbon fiber, takes 8%, and steel account for 71%. However, aluminum and plastics makers are poised to increase their shares by 2020. By then, aluminum will expected to reach 11% and plastics will be 9%, which means steel and iron use is foreseen falling to 65%. Facing the marketing pressure, steel companies say they are rolling out lighter and tougher products to hold market share against aluminum, plastics.

Examples of cars with low-weight, high-performance steel include the Mercedes-Benz S class and Peugeot's new 208 and 308. The use of lightweight, high-strength steel as well as aluminum and plastic composites helped reduce the weight of the new 308 by 309 pounds compared with the model it replaced, Laurent Declerck, project director for the new Peugeot 308 told Automotive News Europe. All material makers are seeking ways to help automakers reduce vehicle weight because lighter vehicles burn less fuel and produce fewer emissions. Carmakers are under pressure to cut fleet carbon dioxide emissions in Europe to 130 grams per kilometer by 2015 from 132 grams per kilometer in 2012. European lawmakers in Brussels are debating a tougher goal of 95 grams per kilometer by 2020.