The Wheels Task Force of the Steel Market Development Institute Launches Project to Develop Lightweight Steel Wheel

DETROIT, August 2, 2011 – To showcase the benefits of steel wheels to automotive manufacturers and consumers, the Steel Market Development Institute’s (SMDI) Wheels Task Force announced today that it will begin a project to develop a lightweight high-strength steel wheel, with a cost-effective design and manufacturing process.

“This project is a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of steel wheels, including the ability to help lightweight a vehicle beyond its structure,” Jackie Stachowski, technical service metallurgist, for Nucor Corporation and chair of the Wheels Task Force, said. “Steel has made progress in recent years in the automotive wheels market. With the advantage of the new lightweight high-strength steels, we hope to develop a steel wheel that automakers and consumers will find even more competitive in terms of weight, cost and design, which we anticipate will further increase the market share of steel wheels.”

The Wheels Task Force – which is comprised of executives in the steel, automotive and wheel markets – will explore opportunities to significantly reduce weight and cost when compared to traditional steel and cast aluminum designs. According to Stachowski, this project will provide the lightest weight steel wheel structure design that will be complemented with state-of-the-art styling. Project results are expected to be announced in the fall.

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new-growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit www.autosteel.org.  

SMDI's Steel Wheel Task Force Members:

• Accuride Corporation
• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• Chrysler Group LLC
• Ford Motor Company
• General Motors Company
• Hayes Lemmerz International
• Hess Industries, Inc.
• Lacks Wheel Trim Systems
• Maxion-Fumagalli Wheels
• Nucor Corporation
• PPG Industries Inc.
• Severstal North America Inc.
• Topy America, Inc.
• ThyssenKrupp Steel USA LLC
• United States Steel Corporation

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Contact:
Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763