Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it has entered into a technical cooperation agreement with Germany’s Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH for aluminum sheet used in automotive body panels.
The agreement covers the exchange of technical information regarding the use of aluminum in automobile bodies and structural parts, the licensing of intellectual property and manufacturing know-how, and technical assistance.
Demand for aluminum sheet for automotive body panels is anticipated to increase to meet the need for lighter cars, amid stricter fuel economy standards. Kobe Steel’s aluminum sheet business is focusing on expanding sales in this area.
Kobe Steel currently supplies a large share of the automotive aluminum sheet to Japanese auto makers. In the future, Kobe Steel anticipates expanding sales to European and U.S. car makers as well. As auto makers grow their businesses, there is a rising need to locally procure the same quality of materials worldwide.
As a part of this undertaking, Kobe Steel formed this technical cooperation with Hydro, a leading European supplier of aluminum sheet for automotive body panels.
Kobe Steel is planning to build a global supply network for aluminum body panels, as announced in its medium-term business plan on May 29, 2013. In addition, the agreement with Hydro strengthens Kobe Steel’s capability to meet the global procurement needs of its customers. In these ways, Kobe Steel aims to further grow its automotive aluminum panel business.
Profile of Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products
- Name: Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH (A unit of Norsk Hydro ASA, Norway)
- Established: 1922
- Location: Grevenbroich, Germany
- Business: Production and sale of automotive aluminum materials, can stock and aluminum sheet for foil
- Employees: About 4,700
- Sales: About 20 billion Norwegian Kroner (about 340 billion yen)