Many 2019 model year vehicles introduced in 2018 share a common attribute: an advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) structure. More than 65 AHSS-intensive vehicles debuted at major auto shows across the country this year. AHSS was represented in the composition of every vehicle segment and size, including the popular SUV, CUV and truck markets.
“As vehicles evolve to become stronger, safer and more durable, high-strength steel continues to be the material of choice for automakers,” said Dr. Jody N. Hall, vice president, automotive market, Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute. “Occupant protection is enhanced by using high-strength grades of steel in critical vehicle areas such as the frame and body. We are seeing more vehicles debut with predominantly steel structures because it is a proven, trusted and cost-effective material for automakers and consumers alike.”
SMDI survey results from earlier this year found 90 percent of consumers believe steel is stronger and more durable than other materials used by automakers. It was also revealed 75 percent of consumers regard safety as the most important factor when buying or leasing a vehicle, and automakers are meeting consumer safety standards by carefully designing their vehicles using high-strength steels.
Here’s what automakers and the media are saying about these notable vehicle debuts from 2018:
2019 Ram 1500 (finalist for 2019 North American Truck of the Year)
- 98 percent of the steel used in the frame is high-strength steel, making the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 the strongest ever
- High-strength steel use increased durability to deliver up to 12,750 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload
2019 Volkswagen Jetta (nominated for 2019 North American Car of the Year)
- Composed of 35 percent ultra-high-strength hot-formed steel, 12 percent ultra-high-strength steel and 39 percent extra high-strength steel
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe (nominated for 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year)
- The body is composed of 67 percent high-strength steel for added strength and reduced weight
2019 Kia Forte (nominated for 2019 North American Car of the Year)
- Composed of 54 percent advanced high-strength steel
2019 Chevrolet Silverado (finalist for 2019 North American Truck of the Year)
- The fully boxed steel frame is 88 pounds lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity
- Has a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed floor
- 80 percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel
2019 Acura RDX (finalist for 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year)
- The body structure is composed of more than 50 percent high-strength steel increasing body rigidity and cabin quietness
2019 Jeep Cherokee
- To achieve lightweighting in the body, Jeep used of 65 percent hot stamped, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-class
- Thanks in part to high- and ultra-high-strength steels comprising the body, the new model lost 375 pounds
- Steel aided in rigidity and load-bearing functions of the vehicle
2020 Toyota Corolla
- Increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel for enhanced body rigidity and occupant safety
- Torsional rigidity is improved by 60 percent compared to its predecessor
2019 Subaru Forester
- Built on the Subaru Global Platform that uses extensive high-strength steel for long-lasting quality, enhanced crash safety and a quieter interior
The 2019 North American International Auto Show kicks off on Jan. 14, 2019. Keep up with the latest advanced high-strength steel-intensive vehicle unveilings by following SMDI at @DriveUsingSteel on Twitter and Instagram, and Steel Market Development Institute on Facebook and LinkedIn.
AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 21 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.
The Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of AISI, increases and defends the use of steel by developing innovative materials, applications and value-added solutions for customers in the automotive, construction and packaging markets. SMDI automotive investors include: AK Steel Corporation, Algoma, ArcelorMittal and Nucor Corporation. For more information on SMDI auto, visit www.autosteel.org or follow @SMDISteel on Twitter.
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