With the release of "Made in China 2025", “China Automotive Lightweight Development – Strategy and Path”, “Technology Roadmap for Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicles” and other policies, the acceleration of the improvement of China's automotive lightweight level further promotes its development, it can be seen that automotive lightweight has become a trend in the automotive manufacturing industry.
Q: Today, we are honored to have Mr. Yannick Yin, Chief Technology Officer of GONVVAMA to communicate on a series of questions about the trend of automotive lightweight.
With the continuous support of national policy orientation and the continuous development of new energy vehicles, now more and more enterprises are rushing into manufacture of new energy vehicles. In respond to this trend, what solutions GONVVAMA can provide for new energy vehicles?
A: As the world's No. 1 steel group, we have been making the lightest, safest and most economical body-in-white solutions for all automobile markets, as well as all the segments, using our latest technologies and products, including solutions specifically for the Chinese market. Since the rapid development of Chinese electric vehicle market from 2016, we have developed 3 universal vehicle solutions specifically for the Chinese market, including PHEV solution in 2017, A-class BEV solution in 2017 yearend, and mid-size electric SUV solution in 2019 as presented at the 2019 Global Lightweight Summit. In fact, the first two solutions are based on the existing solutions of the European market with some local adjustments to the Chinese market, they are not completely original solutions. However, the 2019 mid-size SUV solution is developed from scratch according to the needs of the Chinese market. This also fully indicates that our company attaches great importance to the Chinese new energy vehicle market.
Q: Now the application of new materials has become a new trend in the automotive industry. Would you please introduce steel as a traditional material compared with new materials, such as aluminum, where is your competitive advantage?
A: The advantages of steel are reflected in many aspects. First of all, steel is more environmentally friendly than aluminum, its carbon emissions are relatively low during the production process as well as in recycling process. Currently, around 630 million tons of scrap steel can be recycled worldwide each year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 945 million tons annually, more than the total emission reduction from all other recycled materials together, making steel the most recyclable material. In addition, as a traditional material, steel is much more repairable than aluminum. For example, if the steal car body parts are dented or broken, we have many ways to repair and perfect the steel material without replacing it, which will bring better economy to both carmakers and the owners. There are many mature and reliable ways of producing automotive steels, including spot welding, riveting, bonding, electric arc welding, or laser welding. At present, most aluminum materials can only be connected by mechanical means, which restricts its application and strength; In addition, although steel is a traditional material, it has been constantly innovating. The strength of steel can reach five or even ten times that of aluminum. The increase in steel strength largely counterbalances the weight disadvantage due to its density. In our latest design solutions, we found that in most application scenarios, steel can achieve the same lightweight effect as aluminum; A variety of steel processing methods can achieve more flexible structural design, so as to achieve better lightweight effect under the premise of meeting stiffness and crash performance. The most important point is that steel costs much less than aluminum. With the same weight and performance, the steel design is often more economical.
Q: As you mentioned, GONVVAMA has been rooted in China for many years. With the expansion of business, after-sales service is also very important. How does your company ensure a high level and efficient response to customer after-sales problems to ensure that products meet customer needs?
A: GONVVAMA's customer service system in China is insistent with our global customer service, and we have an integrated customer team to respond to different customer needs related to business, technical and quality issues. As the interface to the customer, the customer team has support from all aspects of the whole group, including global business and technical coordination from parent company ArcelorMittal, and material after-sales service from production base in Loudi, Hunan province, and GONVVAMA team to handle all customer problems associated with the process and laser welded blanks. All our quality standards and production standards in China are exactly the same as those of our plants in Europe and North America, and all of them are operated under the guidance of experts from Europe and North America.
Q: You just mentioned that GONVVAMA's product solutions have been applied by several big carmakers. Based on the Chinese market, what solutions are available for the automobile industry? What are the features of your products and what are your competitive advantages compared with your peers to establish good communication with Chinese local carmakers?
A: The original intention of entering China is mainly in two aspects. The first one is our commitment to global customers. We are responsible for providing products and technical support to our customers worldwide. The second aspect is our confidence in the Chinese auto market. China's auto market is growing fast and local carmakers are in great demand for new technologies and products. We hope to bring our most advanced technologies to them in China. Another important addition is China's One Belt And One Road policy, which encourages Chinese carmakers to go outside. Domestic carmakers are willing to supply globally, and they are in urgent need of partners who are more familiar with laws and regulations in Europe, North America, South America and other international markets than themselves. GONVVAMA can provide them with "turnkey" solutions directly, which is a major advantage over other competitors. 1. First of all, we are a steel producer with the capacity to produce, supply and provide services in 60 countries around the world, which is the only truly global steel producer in the world. 2. We have the ability to provide the white body solution for automobiles. We are not a single product supplier, but a solution supplier. 3. We have the most advanced products in the world, and we are always introducing new products. 4. GONVVAMA has the world's leading downstream processing technologies, including shearing, cutting and laser welding, leading both in product quality and product concept.