Automotive Observation--- Aiming at Auto Cluster, the “steel” plan of “iron triangle”

Rather than being an auto parts supplier, GONVVAMA is a designer and provider of global automotive steel solutions.
Following up the greening trend of Automotive industry, material and auto parts makers are providing continuous power for the innovation of automotive light-weighting technology?
On November 1st, GONVVAMA project, which is jointly established by 3 parties from China and abroad, officially started operation in Jiangshu Changshu, which opened a new stage for the development of high strength auto steel.  GONVVAMA is dedicated in the monolithic and LWB of hot stamping steel, AHSS and UHSS and exposed steel, aiming to provide the best product and technical solution to auto makers.
Hunan Valin CPC secretary, Chairman Cao Huiquan: “Rather than being an auto parts supplier, GONVVAMA is a designer and provider of global automotive steel solutions. “Cao Huiquan, Hunan valin CPC secretary and Chairman, answered during the exclusive interview of Automotive Observation.
So what is the “strong” background of GONVVAMA’s shareholders? What automotive steel solutions can be brought?
Joint-investment from 3 parties, cover the full supply chain
GONVVAMA is jointly built by VAMA and Gonvarri, Global leader for Steel service, with 50% share held by each. GONVVAMA HQ is in Jiangshu Changshu. And 4 ATSs are set in Changshu, Shenyang, Chongqing and Loudi, which covers the main auto clusters in China so as to facilitate auto makers to face the challenge on light-weighting, safety performance improvement and environment protection.
Cao Huiquan explain that: VAMA has the capacity for processing 1.5million ton of automotive sheet which was jointly invested by AM, which takes the top 1 market share in Europe and US automotive steel market, and Valin. And GONVVAMA which is jointly invested by VAMA and Gonvarri (50% share for each) extends the downstream supply chain of VAMA, and become a solution provide covers the full supply chain.
It’s known that as the number 1 steel solution provider worldwide, through VAMA, AM has acquired stable influence in China. This JV, with 50% share held by AM and Valin, can supply full serials of product from low carbon steel to ultra high strength steel and etc, especially high strength steel. For example,  Usibor 2000 and Ductibor 1000. Such different grades of steel have been widely used in Chinese market to help car makers to reach strict crash test requirement, weight-lighting and emission cutting target. GONVVAMA weld the ultra high strength hot stamping steel produced by VAMA according to the needed characters of different parts, and then apply to different part of the car body, so as to reach the target of reducing the weigh of car, improve crash performance, and fuel efficiency and etc. AM has the world recognized LWB solution, while Gonvarri has the world leading blanking solution, through GONVVAMA, domestic customers now can enjoy the best technology and service from AM and Gonvarri.
Nowadays, emission reduction,light-weighting and crash test become more and more strict, domestic car makers have to change the traditional way of making cars, and look for more light-weighting, safer, and greener solution . “it’s at the right time, GONVVAMA is born for the new vehicle standard.” Cao Huiquan hold that. Following the development trend closely, GONVVAMA can customize automotive steel solutions for customers which meet the new environment protection and safe regulation. He use a metaphor: meet the right people at the right time”
Currently, proportion of high strength steel on domestic passenger vehicle is generally up to 60%,in the 3-5 years to come, the consumption of high strength steel on car body will reach 65%-70%, and the percentage of ultra high strength steel and hot stamping steel will be even bigger. And China, the top 1 vehicle producer and seller, has become the focus of various multi-national leading auto parts makers.
Cao Huiquan further commented that : the total sales number of car in China is around 30million, and the average steel consumption on 1 car is 1 ton,  the average consumption of steel on car is around 40mn ton. Comparing with the total average steel consumption of 700 mn ton, it’s just a tip of the iceberg, but automotive steel is a niche product which has the highest quality standard and technology content. The capacity of VAMA phase 1 is 1.5mn ton, among which, 50% is high strength steel, another 50% is normal exposed steel
Obviously, high strength steel will be the main advantage and market positioning of GONVVAMA.
Data shows that automotive industry has grown into an important part of local economy: in 2016,the total industrial output of Shanghai is 578.16 trillion RMB,  10.9% growth on year-on-year basis, which accounts for 17.5% in the total industrial output of Shanghai. Shanghai achieve “double breakthrough”in the development of new energy vehicle. In 2016, the output value of Shanghai New Energy Vehicle Manufacturing Industry reached 10 trillion RMB for the first time; and the number was more than 100 k cars for the first time, which made Shanghai into the biggest city for new energy vehicle application. Shanghai plans to shape itself into a benchmarking zone for domestic car brand, leading zone for industrialization of new energy vehicle, cluster of innovation for intelligent network vehicle by 2020. In 2016, Shanghai clarify the direction for automotive industrialization, which is low-carbon trend, intelligent trend, network connection trend, co-sharing trend, branding trend and etc.
It’s known that many famous automotive brand, both at home and abroad are the customers of Gonvarri. By settling down in Changhsu, No doubt that GONVVAMA is targeting for Shanghai Auto cluster. Cao Huiquan commented: the purpose of locating our plant in several big auto cluster of China is for proximity delivery and providing better service. All in all, GONVVAMA has built itself into a world class base for deep processing of automotive steel, bring the most advanced technical solution in the world to customers in all the main auto clusters in China.
Steel Vs Aluminum  Steel Win
The increasingly stringent fuel economy and emission standards raise new challenges to China's automotive manufacturing enterprises.
By 2020, the average fuel consumption per 100 kilometers shall be 5 liters. A further target of 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers is anticipated after 2020.  By 2020, automobiles shall meet Euro 6 emission standard. In the meanwhile, safety is also a major subject of these new rules. It is very likely that new crash test standards will be in place in China by 2018. The new crash safety standards are expected to match those of the US.
All these new rules set new demands and challenges on steel, the major part of automotive dead weight. Even a few years ago, it was pointed out that aluminum would replace steel. However, the emergence of high-strength steel has continuously cooled down the aluminum body fever, and stabilized the steel position in the automotive industry.
It is understood that the body with 1500 MPa high-strength steel can decrease the dead weight of a single automobile by 27% compared to that of ordinary steel, and the cost of a single automobile can be reduced by 11% and emissions of a single automobile can be decreased by 19%, which brings a competitive advantage to the overall operating cost of the automotive industry. It can be seen that only new technologies that both meet laws and regulations and reduce costs and even reduce the operating costs of the full life cycle of an automobile can be the most viable and competitive.
Undoubtedly, GONVVAMA is at the forefront of the industry in lightweight of automotive steel, and it even plays a leading role in the new standard. According to introduction, GONVVAMA products will be properly ahead of market standards. It can not only realize volume production of 1500MPa high-strength steel but also has reserved 2000MPa high-strength steel, and will realize volume production in 2018. Undoubtedly, GONVVAMA is at the forefront of the industry in lightweight of automotive steel. It can meet the industry standards and is even leading the industry standards.
Thanks to ArcelorMittal's technical support, GONVVAMA is able to offer its customers a number of revolutionary new concepts, including hot-stamping tailor-welded blank for safety cage body. These new concepts are now thriving in the EU and the U.S. market. These proven solutions can not only improve passenger safety but also play an important role in reducing the BIW weight and overall assembly costs.
The integral-forming door ring developed by ArcelorMittal is a perfect example of the advantages of laser tailor-welded blank. Unlike the previous ten components, the door ring only consists of one laser tailor-welded blank. Effective layout design and optimization can significantly reduce material costs and simplify the production process. In past decades, ArcelorMittal has developed a large number of universal steel body solutions (ArcelorMittal S-in motion), including C-Class body in white, opening and closing parts, chassis parts and seats, etc. The S-in motion solution offers the lightest and most rugged automotive design by using the existing AHSS sheet grade combined with global crash-proof and stiffness requirements and performance ratings at the lowest possible cost. For example, compared to current market benchmark models, ArcelorMittal S-in motion mid-size SUV solution can reduce the BIW weight and opening and closing parts by 112kg, and can fully meet crash safety at almost the same cost.
By 2020, China's goal is to produce 2 million electric automobiles; By 2025, this number will be doubled. For China's booming electric automobile market segment, to introduce ArcelorMittal's technologies to GONVVAMA Plant will bring new solutions to Chinese customers.
The weight reduction of electric automobile model is of crucial importance because the battery itself already accounts for a large part of the total vehicle weight. Therefore, the role of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) in the field of electric automobile manufacturing has become increasingly important, especially in Chinese market.
To use a weighter battery to substitute the existing combustion engine has resulted in major changes in body weight and balance, bringing new challenges in crash management. In the meantime, battery and battery box also require stronger safety and impact protection. These factors will greatly facilitate the application of AHSS to ensure safety and reduce weight.
ArcelorMittal's global R&D Department and GONVVAMA have been developing S-in-motion solutions for electric automobiles in Chinese market to make them compliant with Chinese laws and regulations. These award-winning solutions combine state-of-the-art AHSS with hot-stamping grade steel sheet to help customers achieve superior crash safety performance while achieving significant weight reduction with virtually no additional cost.
In summary, GONVVAMA relies on Gonvarri's technical expertise transfer to reinforce its leading position in automotive exterior sheet and aluminium sheet blanking as an important complement to steel sheet solution product catalogue.
ArcelorMittal also provides customers with joint design services while offering products and solutions. In view of increasingly stringent regulatory environment, the design centers in Chinese OEMs are working more efficiently to achieve safer and lighter design goals as far as possible. Thanks to the R&D support provided by ArcelorMittal, GONVVAMA has worked with these design centers to provide thermoforming solutions and designs for BIW applications, layout design and molding study of laser tailor-welded blank as well as more optimized integrated supply chain services, so as to help customers increase productivity and improve product performance.
GONVVAMA offers its customers the unique advanced processing technology - thermoformed laser tailor-welded blank, which can efficiently promote weight reduction and component integration while reducing material costs, improving part performance and reducing the impact on manufacturing process. Facing the challenges posed by rapidly changing markets, GONVVAMA is looking forward to working with customers to create a brilliant future.