Automakers defy contract hikes in steel talks

Oct 14, 2005 | 10:15 AM | Bianca Markram

European automakers are resisting demands for steep price increases in the current round of talks for annual and multi-annual contracts with steelmakers, which one steel observer characterized as the industry's "big battlefield."

Steel producers flagged sharp increases in the run-up to this year's negotiations, saying new contract prices will have to reflect the substantially higher raw material costs faced since the start of the year. Iron ore prices for annual contracts rose more than 70 percent in this year's settlements, but even though automakers expect prices to jump they're reluctant to accept the sharp increases sought by steel mills.....

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