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ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | December 2017

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Up to the challenge

Philippe Aubron, chief marketing officer, automotive
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

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Technological change advances in pulses. In revolutions. Today, we are at the start of such a revolution in the auto industry. This revolution is being driven by the convergence of connectivity, electrification, and changing customer needs.

As Mary Barra, CEO and Chairman of General Motors said: “I believe the auto industry will change more in the next five to ten years than it has in the last 50.”

Today, petrol cars are moving to hybrid (mild or full). In a few years, electric cars will grow exponentially, enabled in particular by breakthrough battery technologies. Electrification is now pulled by regulation but new electric cars, offering higher pure-electrical vehicle range at lower cost, might drive a ‘customer push’.

The question is: how will this change impact ArcelorMittal? And more importantly, how do we respond to those changes?

With electric vehicles, we’ll move from a logic of CO2 reduction for petrol cars to range extension for pure electric vehicles. From how many euros are OEMs willing to spend to cut weight (€/kg saved) to how many euros to extend the range (€/km range).

For the electric powertrain, carmakers will work on efficiency improvements.
ArcelorMittal is already ideally positioned to respond with our iCARe® product range.

If we focus on the body-in-white, the question for OEMs is what is the most cost-efficient way to increase the range: cut weight and/or increase battery capacity? The falling cost of batteries is capping weight saving efforts at a level that makes advanced high strength steels the only acceptable solution.

With advanced products such as Usibor® and Ductibor® for hot stamping and Fortiform® for cold stamping, ArcelorMittal is the best-positioned steelmaker to meet customer demand. We have already expanded our footprint and developed an enviable co-engineering programme with our customers. We’ve been at the forefront of steel solutions with the S-in motion® programme. Our laser welded blanks (LWBs) ensure optimal part design and put the right steel in the right place for both safety and lightweighting.

We are the leading steel supplier to the automotive industry, but we must avoid complacency. In the future, our leadership in quality and service will be the differentiator more than ever. We need to perform better, and anticipate and understand customer expectations faster than we do today. It requires us to develop our digital offering, improve our analytical approach, and be more focussed so we can seize opportunities.

It’s a challenge and I am convinced that ArcelorMittal can more than meet that challenge.
Automotive might be changing rapidly – but so is ArcelorMittal!

Philippe Aubron, chief marketing officer, automotive
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

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