Lightweight, Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies Featured on 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year

DETROIT , Jan. 11, 2010 – AISI’s Steel Market Development Institute is celebrating two more top honors today, as the vehicles selected as the 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year feature a number of lightweight, advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) technologies. The Ford Fusion hybrid and Ford Transit Connect won the awards for top car and top truck of the year respectively.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid – an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick” and rated as the most fuel-efficient mid-size car in North America – features a lightweight high-strength steel body structure for added side and frontal impact protection and tailor-welded B-pillars between the front and rear doorframes.  The Fusion body contains 55% high-strength steel. 

The Ford Transit Connect was developed to be durable and includes steel wheels, high-strength steel front crossmember, a high-strength steel reinforced body shell, and twin-side cross members and side-impact protection.

Ford’s innovative use of carefully selected lightweight, high-strength steel grades in the Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect confirms that steel is the material of choice when it comes to fuel efficiency, strength, durability, cost and design,” said Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for AISI’s Steel Market Development Institute. “Both vehicles earn top fuel efficiency marks in their class and feature clean, unique designs at an affordable price, making them ideal for consumers.”

The awards are judged and given by 49 veteran automotive journalists in the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and Web sites. The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. To be eligible, vehicles must be “all-new” or “substantially changed” from the previous model.

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

SMDI’s Automotive Application Council investors:

AK Steel Corporation
ArcelorMittal Dofasco
ArcelorMittal USA
Nucor Corporation
Severstal North America, Inc.
United States Steel Corporation

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