Steel Industry Offers Lower Cost, Lighter Weight Solutions for Wheels

DETROIT, MI, October 1, 1998 – The North American steel industry has developed a lightweight, styled microalloy steel wheel that is lighter in weight and lower in cost compared to current-production cast aluminum wheels.

In addition to reduced weight and cost, innovative wheel treatment and cladding techniques provide the wheel with a full integral trim, giving automakers significantly greater styling options for wheels and consumer appeal.

The wheel development project was begun in 1996, led by American Iron and Steel Institute Wheels Task Force and coordinated by Hayes-Lemmerz International, Inc. of Romulus, Mich. The styling was based on concepts developed by URETECH International Inc. of Luckey, Ohio, and McKechnie Vehicle Components of Troy, Mich.

"Material and component suppliers continue to be challenged by automakers to reduce weight and costs. With this wheel project, the steel industry is addressing these issues,and at the same time, providing attractive styling alternatives," said Chuck Gregoire, chairman of the Wheels Task Force.

"The wheel offers about seven pounds of weight savings and about $30 in cost savings per vehicle, compared with current-production, mid-sized cast aluminum wheels. We’re certainly eager to share this new concept with automakers."

For more information on the lightweight microalloy steel wheel, call 1-877-STEELINDUSTRY (1-877-783-3546).

The Automotive Applications Committee (AAC) is a subcommittee of the Market Development Committee of AISI and focuses on advancing the use of steel in the highly competitive automotive market. With offices and staff located in Detroit, cooperation between the automobile and steel industries has been significant to its success. This industry cooperation resulted in the formation of the Auto/Steel Partnership, a consortium of DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors and the member companies of the AAC.

This release and other steel-related information are available for viewing and downloading at American Iron and Steel Institute/Automotive Applications Committee’s website at http://www.autosteel.org.

American Iron and Steel Institute/
Automotive Applications Committee:
AK Steel Corporation
Acme Steel Company
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Dofasco Inc.
Ispat Inland Inc.
National Steel Corporation
Rouge Steel Company
Stelco Inc.
United States Steel Corporation
WCI Steel, Inc.
Weirton Steel Corporation