New High-strength Steel For Cars An Attempt To Boost Profits

20 Jun New High-strength Steel For Cars An Attempt To Boost Profits

Steel

Photo: Cjp24 (Wikimedia Commons)

Officials say the steel should make cars lighter and cheaper to produce.

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal, whose largest North American mill is in Indiana Harbor, is introducing a new high-strength steel for cars. It’s part of an effort to boost profits amid an uncertain time for the industry.

The new steel is designed for the interior rails and pillars that make cars safer during a crash. A spokesperson from Arcelor, which is the world’s largest steel producer by volume, says it should make cars lighter and cheaper to produce when it’s rolled out next year.

Indiana automakers already buy much of their steel in-state including from Arcelor. The company says it has struggled to compete with cheaper sellers overseas especially China. New tariffs on Chinese steel may be helping though.

Now, Arcelor is working to boost profits by $3 billion in the next four years with products like the new auto steel. The company wouldn’t confirm whether it’ll be made in Indiana, but union rep Pete Trinidad in Burns Harbor says he thinks it might. He says that would create stability for Arcelor’s more than 8,000 Indiana workers.

“The automotive industry would order that from us and guarantee us hours on our mills,” he says.

Trinidad says the steelworkers’ new union contract gives them bonuses if profits or steel prices reach a certain level.

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