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N. America Carmakers to Triple Thin-Steel Use by 2025, Body Says

North American automakers may triple their use of stronger, thinner steel by 2025 to increase fuel efficiency, according to a lobby for producers of the metal.

Vehicles made in the region will contain an average of as much as 585 pounds of so-called advanced high-strength steel in 2025, the Steel Market Development Institute said by e-mail. “This estimate is likely conservative,” the Washington D.C.- based business unit of the American Iron & Steel Institute said.

The average will probably exceed an estimate by Ducker Worldwide Automotive of 346 pounds by 2020, the lobby also said in the e-mailed response to questions. Ducker estimated average thin-steel use at 194 pounds per vehicle during 2012.

Automakers are experimenting with materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium to cut fuel consumption, Lawrence Kavanagh, president of the lobby, said by phone. The use of the lighter, stronger steels will keep the total level of steel used in cars unchanged, the institute says. Steel makes up about 58 percent to 60 percent of a vehicle’s weight.

Steel prices fell to a two-year low in the fourth quarter.

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