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In the FAST lane

ArcelorMittal selected as Steel partner for new VW supplier programme

Volkswagen (VW), one of the world’s leading carmakers, has announced a new programme which will change the way the company works with its suppliers. Known as FAST (Future Automotive Supply Tracks), the initiative will see VW’s supplier network play a much more significant role in future vehicle development. ArcelorMittal’s industry leading steels and global footprint have guaranteed our involvement.

Globalisation and the increasing speed of innovation cycles are presenting the automotive industry with unprecedented challenges. FAST is VW’s answer and aims to ensure the company remains a driving force in future mobility solutions.

Brian Aranha, ArcelorMittal's Head of strategy, CTO, R&D, CCM, and global automotive and Axel Müller, Volkswagen’s Purchasing Group Commodity Manager Metal

Supplier network key for future

FAST recognises that the supplier network will play a much more significant role in the future. It will see VW engage in a strategic and technological dialogue with selected suppliers. Not only will this occur earlier in the development of a new solution, it will also be more intense. Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, member of the Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Board of Management responsible for Procurement, is optimistic: “We now have a total of 55 partners, each of them outstanding in their respective field. We want to shape the automotive future together. I am looking forward to the dialogue to make these partnerships even more efficient and sustainable for both sides.” 

ArcelorMittal was formally nominated as a FAST Supplier during a short ceremony held at VW’s headquarters in early March 2016. During the event, Axel Müller, Volkswagen’s Purchasing Group Commodity Manager Metal, explained ArcelorMittal was: “a reliable partner which has accompanied the Volkswagen Group throughout the different stages of a vehicle’s lifecycle.” He noted that ArcelorMittal had brought innovations to Volkswagen such as hot stamping technology. “This has helped Volkswagen achieve our car weight targets. I expect that ArcelorMittal’s involvement in FAST will enable us to intensify this cooperation.”

ArcelorMittal’s selection in the Steel supplier category is the result of a process started last year. During 2015, ArcelorMittal helped VW to optimise the use of our steels and solutions. This enabled the carmaker to achieve maximise the value of ArcelorMittal’s steels.

“For a long time Volkswagen has led the industry when it comes to implementing new technologies in automotive,” explains Brian Aranha, executive vice president of ArcelorMittal Automotive. “We are keen to strengthen our relationship with this Group which is always at the leading edge of innovation.”

Jochen Grünewald, Automotive area manager, and Brian Aranha

Closer collaboration will drive research programme

ArcelorMittal’s FAST nomination marks the beginning of a closer collaboration with VW. “From a technical point of view, this nomination is a very important step in our automotive research programme,” notes Jochen Gruenewald, automotive area manager for ArcelorMittal. “We will be able to tune our product development cycle with VW’s milestones for new vehicle development.”

VW has carried out the supplier selection process across the Group using standardised, transparent, and objective criteria. Examples of specific evaluation criteria include how well suppliers collaborate with VW in the field of innovation and how well their global location strategy fits with that of the carmaker. There will be regular reviews of the selected circle of suppliers.

ArcelorMittal is extremely proud to be selected to participate in the FAST project. With our global footprint, complete product range, and dedicated network of automotive R&D centres, ArcelorMittal is ready to meet the expectations of VW’s brands.

More information

VW FAST website