TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. -- To satisfy its customers demands for cost reductions, metal body and structural systems supplier Cosma International is starting to use advanced high-strength steel instead of conventional high-strength steel.
Customers are pushing for 3 to 5 percent cost reductions, said Frank Horton, executive vice president of engineering for Cosma, a wholly owned subsidiary of Magna International Inc. and supplier of chassis stampings, body panels and other structural parts. If you take it out of your (profit), youre jeopardizing your future.
Instead, its important to keep the money to invest in your business, added Horton, who spoke at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich. on Monday, Aug. 4.Advanced high-strength steels can cut costs by 15 percent, reduce product weight by about 20 percent and improve crash performance by 20 percent compared to high-strength steels. Advanced high-strength steels initially are softer than high-strength steels, but become stronger after theyre hardened.
Cosma already is using advanced high-strength steel to make parts for vehicles sold in Europe, including a 2003-model year Volkswagen model The supplier is buying the material from a European steel supplier, but is working with five North American steelmakers so it can purchase the material domestically.
Cosma expects to increase its hold on the frame market to almost 50 percent over the next five years, in part via the use of advanced high-strength steel.