The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

BMW Wins Great Designs in Steel Automotive Excellence Award

DETROIT, May 13, 2009 -- The Automotive Applications Council of AISI's Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) announced today that it has selected the BMW X6 research and development team as the winner of its annual Automotive Excellence Award. The team was selected for its cost-effective use of ultra high-strength steels that meet new market demands for safety, fuel efficiency and emission standards. The award was presented today at the Great Designs in Steel seminar in Livonia, Mich.

The award recognizes individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive marketplace.

"The BMW X6 utilizes steel solutions that add to its unique, sporty design and meet new crash-test requirements, without sacrificing safety or increasing its weight," said Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for AISI's SMDI. "BMW's innovative use of ultra high-strength steel technologies has resulted in a vehicle that is safe, lightweight, environmentally friendly and offers the best fuel economy in its class."

Award winners are chosen based on their presentation given at the previous year's Great Designs in Steel seminar. Candidates were rated in several categories, including: implementation in production; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; replacement of competitive materials; and structural performance and efficiency. The BMW X6 presentation was given by Markus Pfestorf of BMW Group and Duane Copeland of BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC.

BMW uses unique processing technologies and several complex, ultra high-strength steel grades in its design. The vehicle features a steel structure and steel side frames, panels, rear and B-Pillar reinforcements and longitudinal rear member, which improve cost, performance, reduce weight and meet Insurance Institute for Highway Safety side-impact crash test requirements.