Aluminum vs. high-strength steel. It's one of the industry's hottest technological battlegrounds as automakers push to reduce vehicle weight while cutting costs and improving safety.
Two leaders in those arenas will be among the speakers Jan. 14 at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. They will join technology chiefs from two of the world's largest auto suppliers in a panel discussion about vehicle innovation.
The speakers will be:
n Phil Martens, CEO of aluminum giant Novelis. Martens also is a former head of product development for Ford Motor Co.
n Greg Ludkovsky, vice president of global r&d at steel maker ArcelorMittal. His work developing high-strength automotive steels that promote passenger safety helped him win this year's Platts Global Metals Lifetime Achievement Award.
n Swamy Kotagiri, chief technical officer at North America's largest auto supplier, Magna International Inc.
n Doug Patton, senior vice president of engineering for the Americas at Denso Corp., Japan's biggest parts supplier.
The four executives will join a roster of World Congress speakers that includes BMW's Ian Robertson, Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne, Ford's Joe Hinrichs, General Motors' Mary Barra, Honda's Mike Accavitti, and Tesla's Elon Musk.