Hyundai Steel has sent shock waves through the automobile steel sheet market with an M&A. Steelmakers such as POSCO and Hyundai Steel are planning to further enhance the quality of their steel plate products and auto parts by means of consistent R&D efforts, with automakers striving to improve the quality of their cars.
In September last year, POSCO made a joint investment on a 50-50 basis with the Chongqing Steel Group to build an integrated steel mill capable of producing three million tons of molten metal a year via the Finex technique. In addition, it is going to start the operation of its third Finex plant in April this year, with an annual production capacity of four million tons.
POSCO is putting great efforts to work on twinning induced plasticity (TWIP) steel for vehicles, too. “The demand for the next-generation steel product is expected to keep rising as automakers are struggling to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles by making them lighter and lighter,” a representative said, adding, “We will increase the supply to our existing clients such as GM Korea and Renault Samsung while beefing up our marketing so as to replace the steel products imported by Hyundai Motor Company.”
In the meantime, Hyundai Steel is planning to supply more than half of the steel used in the cars of Hyundai and Kia Motors. The percentage stands at approximately 40% as of now, but the new specialty steel plant with an annual capacity of one million tons, which will be housed in its steel mill in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province, is expected to raise the share to over 50%. High-strength specialty steel with great wear resistance is a high-value-added product determining the performance of engines, transmissions, and other parts.
Hyundai Hysco, which has reorganized itself through a division merger, is going to focus on the manufacturing and sale of steel pipes, processing and distribution of steel, and the production of auto parts such as hydrogen fuel cell stacks and lightweight components, while withdrawing from cold rolling. At the same time, it is planning to make use of its steel service centers abroad to improve its competitiveness and profitability.