A decisive step toward more sustainable mobility

KIRCHHOFF Automotive and ArcelorMittal want to cooperate in the development of "low carbon-emissions steel" for the automotive industry. To this end, the CEOs of KIRCHHOFF Automotive and ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products have now signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of low-carbon steel.

They are thus strengthening their cooperation on sustainability issues. This includes a project to develop and test the use of ArcelorMittal’s XCarb® recycled and renewably produced Usibor1500® steel.

In the future, this will replace conventionally produced steel grades with which KIRCHHOFF Automotive produces high-strength and at the same time lightweight safety-relevant body parts that the company supplies to leading vehicle manufacturers in Europe, Asia and North America.

Although low carbon-emissions steel is significantly more expensive than the conventionally produced material, this competitive advantage is increasingly being lost due to government CO2 levies. Steelmakers' customers are pursuing ambitious climate targets, which are driving demand for green materials to such an extent that a supply gap of up to 20 million tons is expected by 2030 (source: Handelsblatt).

CEO J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff emphasized: "I am delighted that together with the world's leading steel producer, ArcelorMittal, we will be taking a further and decisive step towards more sustainable mobility. With our body-in-white solutions we ensure safe mobility in particular through the high strength of special steel grades. The future use of low-carbon steel will enable us to make production significantly more sustainable, as 90% of our carbon footprint is currently determined by the use of conventionally produced steel and aluminum. Based on orders for upcoming generations of vehicles from international car manufacturers, we see demand for such safe and sustainable body-in-white parts will increase strongly in the coming years."

Yves Koeberlé, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products, said, "KIRCHHOFF Automotive is a highly respected company both here in Germany and worldwide, so ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products is very pleased to have further strengthened our relationship with them by signing the Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement will guide the work we are doing to expand the use of low carbon-emissions steel in complex, highly engineered vehicle parts. As a result of the MoU, we will also work with them on other vital sustainability topics, specifically the role of steel in the circular economy." 

As early as 2022, KIRCHHOFF Automotive began a process of determining the location of greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain (Scope 3), both upstream at suppliers and downstream at customers. The company also has an overall goal to establish a high level of sustainability in the automotive industry’s supply chains which is also reflected by the fact that KIRCHHOFF Automotive is one of the founding members of the "Responsible Supply Chain Initiative RSCI e. V." association.

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