A third of the products manufactured by technology group voestalpine are destined for the automotive industry. Even in times of change, it is clear that its innovations for drives, structures and safety are highly welcome elements in this mobility sector.
voestalpine is two-thirds automotive, at least in terms of revenue (BY 2019/20): it generates 34% from customized products and innovations for prestigious automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. Today, the focus lies first and foremost on electromobility, with the group companies drawing on their extensive experience to develop brand new ideas which benefit both customers and the environment.
"As a partner to automotive manufacturers, it is important that we support our customers with the products they need to achieve this technology transition."
voestalpine products in the automotive sector
voestalpine is an important strategic partner to the automotive industry, especially in the premium sector. Working in partnership with its customers, it sets processing standards in fundamental areas of modern automotive production. Irrespective of drive technology, the product mix offered by the four voestalpine divisions covers the entire automotive sector.
Automotive innovations: voestalpine highlights
- phs-ultraform®: the original for galvanized, indirectly hot formed, press-hardened components.
- phs-directform®: for galvanized, directly press-hardened components.
- phs-rollform®: partly-hardened high-strength galvanized sections increase the stability of roll-formed lightweight components.
- compacore®: compact, inline-bonded lamination stacks for more efficient electric motors which are already proving their worth in automotive series application.
- isovac®: highly efficient electrical steel, e.g., for powertrain applications, for servomotors, and as a pre-material for compacore®; also with innovative isolation and self-bonding coatings.
- Tool mold steels (Böhler AMPO W360, Uddeholm Tyrax ESR, etc.) including innovative coating concepts—for the efficient and sustainable production of automotive components in high-strength steel grades.
- ahss high-ductility: steels for lightweight construction which simultaneously offer improved formability.
- Rotor shafts made from seamless precision steel tubes for weight-saving applications in electric drives.
- Highly efficient 3D-printed tools for thin-walled die cast products manufactured by automotive suppliers.
- flextric®: lightweight components for the simple installation and protection of batteries in electric vehicles.
From the smallest spring to the entire component: in tires, drives, structural and safety parts, for forming and welding—voestalpine products are present in almost all automobiles.
Strategic flexibility in turbulent times
voestalpine masters the challenges posed by rapidly changing automotive trends through innovative product ideas and a high degree of flexibility. Consulting firms predict that the global decline in automotive production over the past years is due to end in 2020, with e-mobility solutions playing a disproportionately large role in the market upturn. National and European regulations, a rethinking of society’s attitudes to mobility, and huge market changes should push new electric vehicle registrations over the 10 million mark globally by 2025. However, it should be remembered that the annual figures for newly registered vehicles with combustion engines (ICE) will still exceed that of electric vehicles until around 2040. Consequently, optimized ICE technologies will remain in demand for far longer than the next two decades.
"Our growth strategy focuses on our innovations and the increasing demand for production flexibility in the mobility market. This will subsequently manifest itself in supplier quantity and revenue."
Strategically, voestalpine is focusing on
- press-hardened components for ultra-high-strength body parts used in lightweight construction (e.g., B pillars),
- lightweight vehicle components with excellent crash behavior (e.g., for battery housings), and
- electrical steel and electrical steel packages, and rotor shafts.