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New automotive order results in better growth for voestalpine in US

ABR Staff Writer Published 17 August 2016

The technology and capital goods group voestalpine plans to increase its revenue in the NAFTA region from the present EUR 1.2 billion to EUR 3 billion by 2020.

A new %500m order for its automotive sector brings the company one step closer to this goal.

To be able to fulfill this large order from a German premium automotive manufacturer, voestalpine invests more than $60m in two US sites.

On the one hand, the automotive component plant in Cartersville, Georgia, opened in 2014, is already entering the third expansion stage, and on the other, the Group is investing in a new site in Birmingham, Alabama. voestalpine thus creates a total of over 400 jobs at these two locations by 2020.

The voestalpine Group is consistently expanding its global presence in the future mobility market. It is the Metal Forming Division, which currently has over 30 automotive sites on four continents, that is primarily responsible for the automotive sector.

In early July, the division set a milestone in automotive lightweight construction by opening the world’s first facility for phs-directform in Germany where it produces press-hardened, high-strength, corrosion-resistant body parts from hot-dip galvanized steel strip in a single process step.

And it recently added the next company to its mobility portfolio with an acquisition in the automotive safety segment in Canada. voestalpine is thus also responding to constantly growing requirements and increasing local demand of its premium automotive customers.

Now, a $500m order is causing the next expansion wave in North America combined with investments of more than $60m.

voestalpine CEO Wolfgang Eder said: This is another example of how the voestalpine Group is consistently continuing its internationalization strategy in the NAFTA region with its high potential, once again strengthening the core growth segment of mobility that is responsible for nearly 50 percent of Group revenue today."

Third expansion stage in Cartersville, Georgia

The majority of the investment volume—around $50m—will go into expanding the automotive components plant in Cartersville, Georgia. The state-of-the-art plant is the first production site for high-strength lightweight body parts in the NAFTA region.

It has been continually expanding since its opening in 2014. When the second expansion stage is completed next year, the company will have 220 employees. As a result of the current order, the third expansion stage will soon start. By 2018, the phs technology will be further rolled out locally, and a number of new presses and assembly lines for automotive parts are planned.

This will create another 150 jobs in total. The company’s target revenue is roughly $200m by 2020.

voestalpine Member of the Management Board and Metal Forming Division Head Peter Schwab said: voestalpine has long been the technology and quality leader when it comes to producing ultra high-strength, corrosion-resistant, lightweight parts.

"The recent major order and the resulting capacity expansion underscores that the strategy the company has been following for years—to follow our customers in their future markets—has paid off."

New automotive production in Birmingham, Alabama

voestalpine is investing an additional $11m in a new automotive site in Birmingham, Alabama, in the direct vicinity of two production sites belonging to the Group company voestalpine Nortrak, which specializes in the production of sophisticated turnout systems.

On 5,000 m2 of leased land, an existing building will be equipped with several automatic assembly lines for high-quality automotive parts. Building of the assembly lines will start in the first quarter of 2017. Production is scheduled to start in September 2017.

When it is in full operation, the subsidiary in Birmingham will provide 42 new jobs. The site will ensure the best possible supply of the nearby automotive customers with time-critical and logistically challenging parts. In the future, it will serve as an additional production hub for Cartersville.

Source: Company Press Release