US steel exposure to automotive: friend or foe?



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Report summary

In the United States the automotive industry is a major consumer of steel. We estimate that 25-30% or 25-30Mt of steel is used in this sector annually. Almost half of this is linked to the passenger vehicle market, which includes cars, wagons, pick-up trucks and SUVs. The automotive sector is important not only because of its size but also because it has been the only sector that to date has returned to and exceeded pre-crisis consumption volumes...

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    US steel exposure to automotive: friend or foe?

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Table of contents

  • Domestic sales drive vehicle production
  • Outlook for sales is uncertain
  • Vehicle production increasingly shifting south
  • Downsizing and lightweighting is another factor to consider
  • Long term automotive steel demand to ease in the US
  • A race to gain market share in a shrinking market
  • Exposure to the automotive sector has its advantages
  • Automotive steel seems to be less exposed to import pressures
  • The past is not necessarily a good guide for the future
  • Oversupply of automotive grade steels will erode price premiums
  • Success will be increasingly difficult to come by

Tables and charts

This report includes 8 images and tables including:


  • The current vehicle fleet is in a need of an update
  • US steel exposure to automotive: friend or foe?: Image 4
  • AK Steel has the largest exposure to the automotive sector
  • Large steelmakers dominate the automotive market
  • AK Steel's realised prices have been supported by automotive…
  • …but the impact on profitability is not immediately evident
  • HDG price premium compared to CR coil


  • Examples of producer and dealer incentives

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