Hydro ASA has signed a cooperation agreement with Kobe Steel
Ltd.s aluminum arm on aluminum sheet technology for
vehicle closure panels and structures in an effort to provide
consistent-quality aluminum sheet or coil to automakers in Asia
"To accommodate this
procurement policy in the best possible way, we are allying in
technological know-how with Kobe as an optimal partner," Pascal
Wagner, head of Hydros lithography, automotive and heat
exchanger business unit, said in a statement. "They have a
strong position in serving automotive production facilities in
Asia, while we are a major supplier of rolled aluminum products
to automotive customers in Europe."
The cooperation will
include the exchange of technical information, licensing of
intellectual property and know-how, and technical assistance
through individual agreements, Hydro said.
"The cooperation with
Kobe is strengthening our industry position in the area of
special products while helping our automotive customers to
secure global sourcing of premium-quality aluminum sheet," head
of Hydros Rolled Products Oliver Bell said in a
Hydro last October
combined all of its aluminum profiles, building systems and
tubing businesses with those of Orkla ASA, owner of Sapa Group,
into a 50/50 joint venture in a deal that was approved by the
European Commission last month (
amm.com, May 13).
Kobe Steel supplies
aluminum coil and sheet mainly to Japanese automakers, but
plans to increase sales to European and North American
producers. Last month it announced it had broken ground on a
$66-million expansion at its facility in Bowling Green, Ky., to
boost its offerings to the automotive sector (
amm.com, May 16).
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.