As part of the internationalization strategy in the automotive sector, voestalpine invested in new plants in China, the USA, and South Africa over the past years. The Group operates more than 50 automotive production sites worldwide.
The future-oriented mobility sector is a key driver of innovation and an international growth area for voestalpine. In the business year 2016/17 it accounted for 34% of Group revenue.
Two-thirds of revenue in the mobility sector is generated in the automotive industry, with voestalpine products present in almost all automotive components including car bodies, powertrains, safety components, and tires. With its technologies and innovations, and over 50 automotive production sites worldwide, voestalpine is a strategic partner to the automotive industry’s premium segment, for all future e-mobility and lightweight construction needs.
In line with its comprehensive strategy of internationalization in the automotive sector, over the past years voestalpine has invested more than EUR 100 million in new plants in China, the USA, and South Africa, particularly to roll out phs technology globally. This is primarily the responsibility of the Metal Forming Division of the voestalpine Group which currently operates more than 30 automotive sites on four continents. The global investments are also intended to develop technologies at existing plants and to consistently extend the value chain through to the end consumer. In this way voestalpine is continuously expanding its presence in the growth markets of its customers which include all well-known premium automobile manufacturers.
Expansion as a driver of growth
As part of the internationalization strategy in the automotive sector, over the past years more than EUR 100 million has been invested in new plants in the USA, China, and South Africa. The focus lies on phs technology which is scheduled for global rollout. Existing plants also need to be upgraded in order to continually strengthen voestalpine presence in the growth markets of its customers which include premium automobile manufacturers.
Mexico is increasingly at the focus of voestalpine global automotive activities. A new production facility for high-quality automotive components is currently under construction in Aguascalientes and is scheduled to be fully operational by July 2018.
Rising to the top through innovation
The world’s first plant using direct hot forming technology for phs-directform® went into operation in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, in July 2016. This plant allows press-hardened, ultra-high strength, and corrosion-resistant body parts from galvanized steel strip to be produced in a single process step—a milestone in lightweight automotive construction. Production capacities for the automotive sector have also been expanded at the site in Linz: Linz is now the world’s largest production site for laser-welded blanks used in automotive manufacturing.
In addition to the six plants at the German sites in Schmölln and Schwäbisch Gmünd, and the phs-ultraform® site in Cartersville, Georgia, since 2015 there has also been an Asian site using phs technology in Shenyang, China.
Reacting to growing demand
phs technology will continue to play an important role in the future. voestalpine currently operates nine phs lines around the world; further plants in the USA and in China will soon be completed in order to guarantee the availability of lightweight products.