Steel Group Says Automakers Receptive To 'UltraLight' Methods

A consortium of U.S. steel producers reports progress in its efforts to incorporate more steel in auto manufacturing. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) recently reported that carmakers have started using UltraLight Steel Auto Body (ULSAB) technologies, which were introduced two years ago. "Car companies don't want to tip their hands, so it has been difficult for us to learn in advance exactly how our customers are applying ULSAB technologies," says Darryl C. Martin, a senior director with AISI. "But we know they are. The feedback we receive -- both formal and informal -- has been very encouraging." ULSAB uses advanced steel to substantially reduce a car's body mass. Doing so helps lower costs, reduce emissions, and increase fuel economy, according to AISI. Some cars cited by the group that are using high amounts of the advanced steel include: 1999 BMW 3-series; Ford Focus; Mercedes Benz S-Class; Toyota Vitz; and the Ford Windstar.

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