Ford Receives Award For Use Of Steel Lightweighting In EVs at 20th Annual Great Designs In Steel Symposium

SOUTHFIELD, MI.-The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today awarded the Automotive Excellence Award to Ford Motor Company for their advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) innovations in the all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. The award was presented by John Catterall, vice president of AISI’s automotive program, at the 20th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) in-person symposium at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.

Mark Mikolaiczik, formerly a North American engineering body exterior chief engineer at Ford, received the award for his GDIS 2021 presentation, titled Mustang Mach-E.

Ford developed a platform to capture the spirit and performance of the Mustang brand while offering an all-new driving experience through an electric all-wheel drive (eAWD). The vehicle also provides excellent occupant and storage space. The application of AHSS, which represents more than 50 percent of this body’s structural weight, allows for optimal strength-to-weight that delivers outstanding safety ratings with an exciting driving dynamic. While the overall vehicle weight increased by 36 percent because of electrification, that led to the development of unique body load path solutions and the use of Martensite 1700 MPa steel to meet crash requirements and protect the battery system.

Automotive Excellence Award winners use AHSS in applications to provide the best value for consumers while also improving vehicle performance, range and sustainability, said Catterall. Steel is driving innovation, and Mike and the Ford team are a great example of the capability of incorporating these next generation steel grades in electric vehicles.

The AISI Automotive Excellence Award is presented each year at GDIS. Individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who have revolutionized the industry and made significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive market. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including: challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance, overall contribution to the advancement of steel and implementation in production.

GDIS debuted in 2002 with 545 registrants and has grown in attendance and scope. In 2021, more than 1,400 attendees from North American vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, equipment suppliers, academia, media and the steel industry registered for the virtual event. 2022 marks the symposium’s 20th year with more than 1,500 registrants. AISI automotive program members include ArcelorMittalCleveland Cliffs Inc. and Nucor Corporation. This year’s event featured keynote speeches from Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., Rex Query, executive vice president of Sheet and Tubular Products, Nucor Corporation and Carla Bailo, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research. The event also features two OEM vehicle presentations and 32 technical presentations covering forming/joining/manufacturing and materials. Helping to support this year’s event are Gold Sponsors: GestampPROFIL and Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.; Silver Sponsor: Wheeling-Nippon Steel; Bronze Sponsors: ArcelorMittal Tailored BlanksAutoFormCBMM/NiobiumDreistern USAEWISenodisShape Process Automation, and TWB Company, and Media Partners Fabricators and Manufacturers Association InternationalMetalFormingMagazine and Precision Metalforming Association.


Contact: Tracey Rettig


AISI serves as the voice of the American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI‘s membership is comprised of integrated and electric arc furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI‘s website at Follow AISI on FacebookLinkedInTwitter (@AISISteel) or Instagram.