FRANKFURT -- German industrial group ThyssenKrupp will invest more than 21 million euros ($25 million) in a new service center to supply Ford Motor Co. unit Volvo Cars in Sweden with flat steel products.
The center will be built on the site of the Volvo plant in Olofstroem and will supply around 80,000 tons per year of tailored blanks as well as cut-to-size steel sheet.
Tailored blanks are made from steel sheets of different gauge, grade and finish that are laser welded together to form a seamless blank, permitting weight savings of 20 to 40 percent in car manufacture.
Production at the service center in Sweden is scheduled to start in late 2005 and will reach full capacity in late 2006.
Thyssen pioneered the development of tailored blanks in 1984, when they were first used in the manufacture of the Audi 100.
The German steelmaker produced 590,000 tons of tailored blanks last year, a volume rise of just over 20 percent over 2003, making it the largest producer in the world.