Lightweight, Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies Featured on 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year

Posted on 11 January 2010

Advanced steel technologies contribute to Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Transit Connect class-leading fuel efficiency

AISI's Steel Market Development Institute is celebrating two more top honors today, as the vehicles selected as the 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year feature a number of lightweight, advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) technologies. The Ford Fusion hybrid and Ford Transit Connect won the awards for top car and top truck of the year respectively.

The Ford Fusion hybrid - an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's "Top Safety Pick" and rated as the most fuel-efficient mid-size car in North America - features a lightweight high-strength steel body structure for added side and frontal impact protection and tailor-welded B-pillars between the front and rear doorframes. The Fusion body contains 55 percent high-strength steel. The Ford Transit Connect was developed to be durable and includes steel wheels, high-strength steel front crossmember, a high-strength steel reinforced body shell, and twin-side cross members and side-impact protection.

"Ford's innovative use of carefully selected lightweight, high-strength steel grades in the Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect confirms that steel is the material of choice when it comes to fuel efficiency, strength, durability, cost and design," said Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for AISI's Steel Market Development Institute. "Both vehicles earn top fuel efficiency marks in their class and feature clean, unique designs at an affordable price, making them ideal for consumers."

The awards are judged and given by 49 veteran automotive journalists in the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and Web sites. The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. To be eligible, vehicles must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and through its business unit, SMDI, conducts research with its member companies in partnership with its customers to advance the use of steel in the marketplace.

The Automotive Applications Council is a part of AISI's Steel Market Development Institute. The council focuses on advancing the use of steel in the highly competitive automotive market.

Automotive Applications Council investors are:
  •     AK Steel Corporation
  •     ArcelorMittal Dofasco
  •     ArcelorMittal USA
  •     Nucor Corporation
  •     Severstal North America
  •     United States Steel Corporation

Source: American Iron and Steel Institute

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