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01. February 2012

AUT - Voestalpine wins supply contract worth EUR 700 million

The Automotive Division of the voestalpine Group has concluded its largest single contract to date, with a leading European car manufacturer. The order volume amounts to around EUR 700 million.

As a result, the voestalpine Group will produce sophisticated automotive components in countries such as China and the USA for the first time. The Group is investing around EUR 100 million for this global move into the automotive segment.

In addition to a comprehensive package of high tensile, sophisticated security components, the agreement includes replacement and assembly parts for a new generation of successful models. Existing voestalpine production sites will be expanded and new sites established in order for production to take place in the immediate vicinity of each automotive plant. The existing global presence in other divisions will thus be expanded by the automotive segment.

A key factor in awarding this contract to voestalpine was not only its technology leadership but also the complete Group package and the positive experience drawn from decades of cooperation.

Mr Franz Hirschmanner head of the Automotive Division said that "Our partner values the excellent production and processing know how in every manufacturing step, and the integrated operating principle which results from our Group know how."

Mr Wolfgang Eder chairman of the management board said that "The roughly EUR 100 million of investment, above all in China and the USA, is part of our globalization strategy. We follow European car manufacturers into their future markets where we significantly expand our presence."

All the key components produced for this contract will involve the patented, futuristic product phs ultraform. Phs ultraform is hot dip galvanized auto body steel, developed by voestalpine and formed during the new indirect press hardening process. This has required the construction of the world's first such press hardening facility, for serial production in Germany. The components are initially cold pressed before being heated to 900 degrees Celsius and then subsequently hardened by cooling down to 70 degrees within just a few seconds. The corrosion protected components manufactured using this process are both considerably lighter as well as significantly stronger. As a result, this new technology plays an important role in reducing fuel consumption whilst at the same time significantly increasing passenger safety. Thus the raw material steel shows the way forward, successfully meeting the challenge posed by its rivals, aluminum and carbon.


sourced from steelguru.com

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