The right steel for every requirement

#tkgoesIAA | Together with Toyota thyssenkrupp Steel has developed two products with very different properties for the Japanese OEM’s European business.

Expertise, trust and reliability are the key to a successful partnership – including thyssenkrupp’s relationships with the automotive industry. Two projects for the Japanese OEM Toyota demonstrate how closely the material supplier and the world’s second biggest car manufacturer collaborate to develop successful products. Part of Toyota’s strategy is to source materials locally wherever possible. So in their search for two very demanding but very different materials, they turned to their tried-and-tested partner thyssenkrupp Steel.

For the side panel of the Corolla model for the European market, Toyota chose a very mild deep-drawing steel with enhanced long-term corrosion protection from the German steelmaker. “The challenge was to integrate this material into Toyota’s standardized production workflow,” says Stefan Slawik, key account manager for Toyota at Steel. “But we managed without any problem and with no adjustments to the dies.” Over the course of a test phase lasting several months Toyota was able to satisfy itself that the material consistently met the very highest quality requirements during processing.

The second material Toyota needed was for structural parts such as roof and door reinforcements. “We had very specific requirements of the material,” says Edip Özer Arman, Senior Engineer at Toyota Motor Europe. “We took these requirements to the steel experts and worked together to find solutions.” Ultimately they decided in favor of DP1200, an existing premium product from thyssenkrupp. “We were working to a tight timeframe, but the development phase was completed in just two years and the material approved for use,” says Slawik. In the future it will be used in production.