January 15, 2014
A recent market research study regarding the role of steel in automobiles—commissioned by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, and conducted by MindClick Global—shows an overwhelmingly positive perception of steel across the consumer market.
The 2013 U.S. Truck & SUV Market Study of more than 3,000 U.S.-based truck and SUV owners revealed at a 95 percent statistical confidence level that the manufacturing of vehicles using advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) grades increases overall automaker brand equity to the consumer. Contributing factors included steel's reputation for safety, performance, and fuel efficiency.
"AHSS features unique metallurgical properties and processing methods that enable the automotive industry to meet current and future fuel economy and safety requirements, without increasing costs," said Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of SMDI.
According to consumer feedback, the strength of the material used in the frame and body of the vehicle holds as much significance over purchasing decisions as brand and cost.
"Based on the brand analysis, awareness of the use of AHSS directly correlated to an overwhelming amount of consumers, 90 percent, citing a strong preference for and likelihood to purchase brands that make use of AHSS," said JoAnna Abrams, CEO of MindClick Global.