Ford Fusion Design Team Earns Automotive Excellence Award at 12th Annual Great Designs in Steel Seminar

Automakers' use of advanced steel grades enables fuel efficient and safe vehicle design

DETROIT, May 1, 2013 – The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), gave top honors to Ford Motor Company's Ford Fusion design team at the 12th Annual Great Designs in Steel Seminar (GDIS) in Livonia, Mich. this morning. The Ford team received the annual Automotive Excellence Award for its innovative use of advanced high-strength steel throughout the 2013 Ford Fusion’s body structure and closures.

Shawn Morgans, body structures technical leader and global core manager, received the award on behalf of the Ford team. Morgans delivered the award-winning presentation titled “Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies in the 2013 Ford Fusion” during last year’s seminar. At this year’s event, Morgans will present “Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies in the 2013 Ford Escape.”

Notably, the 2013 Ford Fusion features the world’s first hydroformed steel tubes in the B-pillars. According to Morgans, hydroforming provided key benefits to the Fusion’s design, including increased structural performance (higher strength-to-weight ratio, improved torsion and bending stiffness), improved material utilization (less than five percent engineered scrap), part consolidation, improved tolerance and process control, material gauge changes without modifying forming die, as well as reduced weight, cost and tooling investment.

“We think Ford did an excellent job in designing the Fusion with its customers’ needs, including safety, performance and environmental consciousness, in mind,” said Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive market, SMDI. “Its pioneering use of hydroforming contributes to the vehicle’s improved side-impact performance, mass reduction and roof strength, all key industry and consumer criteria.” 

The Automotive Excellence Award recognizes individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive marketplace. Award winners are chosen from presentations given at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including: implementation in production; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; replacement of competitive materials; and structural performance and efficiency.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 123 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI’s member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. 

SMDI 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  or follow us on twitter at SMDI automotive investors include:  AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, Severstal North America, ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC and United States Steel Corporation.

Editor’s Note: For high-res images from the 2012 GDIS event, please contact Jennifer Greenfelder at 248.945.4767 or .

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

Jennifer Greenfelder
Manager, Automotive Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4767