21 Jun 2016 | Trade News
The new Vauxhall Astra was launched with the support of Tata Steel’s ‘Safe Use’ service. Safe Use is part of a suite of advanced engineering services which ensures Tata Steel’s products are safely and robustly deployed at the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
After the Astra launch event, the UK automotive media were asking Tata Steel about the special steels it had supplied for the new model.
“The media were commenting on how much our contribution was mentioned in the launch speeches,” said Kevin Edgar, Head of Marketing, Automotive.
“But while we did supply some of our new and innovative steel grades for the car, it wasn’t this that set us apart from the competition and from our peers in other supply segments. We believe that what set us apart was the service we provided.”
The service in question was Tata Steel’s Safe Use service. Safe Use is one of the advanced engineering services offered to the automotive industry. It is geared towards helping partners achieve efficient and problem-free deployment of advanced steel solutions. Experts from the Customer Technical Services (CTS) team are on site, alongside partners’ press shop teams, to ease the strain on launch and to assist on any major changes.
Lee Cobb, CTS Engineer, said: “By sharing our expertise in specialist areas including formability and die design, we help partners to fully deploy the material in their daily operations – making sure they can use the material with ease.”
Lee Cobb supports the Tata Steel team at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in the UK where the new Astra is being produced. He explained: “With the new Astra, material specifications were set and tested by simulation well ahead of production in the design phase. But it always takes that combination of analysis and practice to deliver the final solution. On this occasion the direct intervention of the CTS team ensured that transition from design to application.
“It isn’t all about knowledge though. The fact is we are also local - close enough to help when the customer calls. Our close relationship with Vauxhall through our CTS team and customer engagement managers means we’re proactive and ready to give support when it’s needed.”
Andy Berry, Tata Steel’s Account Manager for Vauxhall Motors, said: “When you look at the success of the introduction of the all-new Vauxhall Astra into the UK, it’s a massive vote of confidence for UK automotive manufacturing and for the suppliers which have supported its launch.
“At Tata Steel, we’re extremely proud to have played a small part in that success.”