Jan 29 2007
Hydro has increased its share of the global market for automotive crash management systems. Product development capacity and complete value-chain management are two reasons why.
Engineering capability within product and process development has been an important success factor for Hydro, which delivered approximately 7.5 million extruded aluminium bumper beams last year. This figure is not only twice as large as that of any other aluminium competitor, but it maintains Hydro's position as a major player when looking at all materials, including steel and plastics.
In 2005, the company produced close to 7 million bumper beams. Hydro also has a good position in Europe in the active rollover protection system market.
"We are improving our position through cooperation with current and potential customers," says Hendrik Brenig, who is head of Hydro's Automotive Components business sector. "We take pride in being a market leader."
Product development is key
Why are automakers around the world continuing to choose Hydro's crash management systems? Two reasons are reliability of supply and product performance. Hydro is also assuring OEMs of its capabilities through its product simulation capacity and value-chain management.
"Our advanced product simulation capacity enables us to precisely predict the behavior of our crash management systems," says Brenig. "This is a competence our customers value. At the same time, we can usually offer the lowest product weight to the specific customer request."
Hydro delivers crash management parts and systems, structural components and assemblies, as well as fuel filler pipes and rollover protection systems through its Structures business unit, which has production and development facilities in Europe and North America.
As part of an internal reorganization, in which the company is refocusing its resources, Hydro is in the process of divesting the Structures business unit. Hydro will remain an important supplier to the automotive industry within precision tubing, alloys, and rolled and extruded semi-finished products, with sales volume of approximately EUR 1 billion.