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Company News, 2003-10-09, 02:00 AM

Innovative, social and ecological: ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks honored by Volkswagen AG with 2003 Environment Award

On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, Dr. Ulrich Jaroni, Member of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp Stahl, Duisburg, responsible for the Auto division, accepted the Volkswagen AG Environment Award 2003 from Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Volkswagen head of corporate research. The award was in recognition of the outstanding environmental performance of ThyssenKrupp Stahl subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks GmbH, Duisburg, which supplies tailored blanks to VW.

"The main criteria for the award were the environmental friendliness of the products themselves and the environmental friendliness of their production," said Paefgen. "We also took into account whether the supplier draws up an ecological balance sheet and operates an environmental management system: Our cooperation partner, ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks GmbH, scored highly on all these indicators."

"In line with the environmental policy of our parent company ThyssenKrupp Stahl, all production facilities at ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks are operated in strict accordance with statutory requirements; environmentally compatible part manufacture and the outstanding recyclability of our products are integrated into production," explains Rudolf Helldobler, managing director of ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks GmbH, Duisburg. "All of our production sites are also ISO 14.000 certified."

"Tailored blanks are weight- and function-optimized components for car body production. As well as reducing weight and increasing safety and comfort, they also help optimize component tolerances and lower costs," explains Thomas Stegemann-Auhage, managing director of ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks Nord in Wolfsburg. "Using tailored blanks can reduce vehicle weight by 20 to 40 percent, which in turn results in lower fuel consumption." Other important factors in the award decision were the short distance between ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks Nord and Volkswagen, the supplier`s early involvement in vehicle development programs to optimally exploit steel`s outstanding properties, and the material`s 100 percent recyclability. "We are proud of the fact that as direct neighbors we have been able to contribute to the optimization of manufacturing processes at VW," said Stegemann-Auhage. "Sourcing parts from us allows VW to eliminate processing operations and because we are so close the logistics are easy." Last but not least, the award reflects the social commitment of ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks Nord: "Our young company has created a number of new jobs in Wolfsburg," says Stegemann-Auhage.

ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks has four production sites in Germany alone, one of them on VW`s doorstep in Wolfsburg. The company is market and technology leader in tailored blanks - blanks consisting of steel sheets of different thickness, grade and coating joined together by laser welding. In the car plant, the blanks are formed typically into doors, liftgates, floor panels or side members. Current forecasts indicate that the market requires additional capacities: In 2002, the quantity of tailored blanks used in cars in Europe was 780,000 tons, while the forecast for 2007 is 1.2 million tons. ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks intends to participate in this growth. While the focus this year is on expanding production in Germany, ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks GmbH has also established a strong international presence in recent years with plants in China, Mexico, the USA, Brazil and Italy. By 2007 the company plans to produce 64 million tailored blanks a year worldwide - compared with 37 million in 2002.

Contact:
ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
Erwin Schneider
Tel.: +49 203 / 52 - 2 56 90
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07
e-mail: erwin.schneider@tks.thyssenkrupp.com

Dietmar Stamm
Tel.: +49 203 / 52 - 2 62 67
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07
e-mail: dietmar.stamm@tks.thyssenkrupp.com

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