How do you view the automotive sector’s demand for steel? What is your prediction for the coming period?
In general, 2020 will be a year in parallel with 2019. We don’t expect a substantial increase in demand from the automotive sector.
Why do you think steel enterprises care so much about supplying products to the automotive industry?
Supplying products to the automotive sector gives great support to steel manufacturers’ R&D processes. In the meantime, collaboration with the automotive sector make a great contribution to companies’ philosophy of continuous development. In addition, the profitability of automotive sheets is higher than that of commercial sheets.
What can be done to strengthen cooperation between the automotive and steel industries?
In particular, joint synergies should be created with OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and Tier-1 R&D teams. Then these teams should be focused on contributing to the product catalog diversity of steel sheet producers and be supported by localization efforts.
What can you say about the competition caused by imported automotive steel products?
It is an important priority for the automotive sector not to go beyond the open market rules in this regard; otherwise, a faulty precaution or subsidy can result in mistakes that may harm the competitiveness of the country, as the imported steel sheets used in the automotive industry are special grades. In addition, the opportunities from these import processes to create a competitive environment for domestic producers should not be overlooked.
To what extent have the protectionist measures affecting the entire industry impacted your exports?
Our segment is not directly affected by protectionist measures. Although these measures result in some indirect difficulties in terms of steel sheet prices and availability, we have not faced any remarkable problem.
How was 2019 for your company? What do you expect from 2020?
The automotive industry is undergoing a major transformation. This is why we take the needs of the industry into consideration. In 2019, we started to produce special molds for electric vehicles. We wish to adapt to the new era in the automotive industry by specializing in these new generation product groups. Producing our own national car and the increase in the use of electric vehicles in our country will be an opportunity for us to invest in alternative technologies.