DETROIT, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ringing in 2012 has come early for the North American steel industry and the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), as editors at High Gear Media's The Car Connection have named the 2012 Ford Focus the "Best Car to Buy 2012" -- due in part to the extensive use of higher-strength steels used on the vehicle.
According to Ford Motor Co., the 2012 Focus combines expressive design and an exceptional array of smart technologies, including high-strength steel, with high levels of craftsmanship and occupant safety, while delivering up to 40 mpg on the highway.
The Focus body shell consists of 55 percent high-strength steels, with ultra high-strength and boron steels making up more than 31 percent of the skeletal structure. These advanced steel technologies help the Focus meet crash regulations across world markets, while reducing the vehicle's weight and contributing to improved fuel economy.
"Ford's use of ultra high-strength steel in the 2012 Focus have resulted in a vehicle that not only is affordable and safe, but also fuel efficient and environmentally responsible," Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive applications for SMDI, said. "Their decision to incorporate lightweight steel technologies into their designs, demonstrates that steel continues to be the material of choice for automakers in terms of meeting aggressive safety and stringent fuel economy and emissions requirements -- a clear best buy for consumers."
In addition, the Focus' vehicle structure achieves its excellent crash protection in part through a newly designed ultra high-strength steel B-pillar reinforcement produced using an innovative tailor rolling process. The process allows the thickness of the steel sheet to be varied along its length, so the component has increased strength in the areas that are subjected to the greatest loads.
The Car Connection is part of High Gear Media, a vertical media company publishing engaging, premium automotive content on some of the Web's fastest growing car websites, targeting key buyer and vehicle segments. Each year, The Car Connection team rates reviewed vehicles based on styling, performance, utility, safety and features to select its annual "Best Car to Buy."
The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit www.autosteel.org.
SMDI investors include:
- AK Steel Corporation
- ArcelorMittal Dofasco
- ArcelorMittal USA LLC
- Nucor Corporation
- Severstal North America Inc.
- ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
- United States Steel Corporation
SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute