Gestamp, the Spanish multinational that specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of metal components and units for motor vehicles, received the Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) award alongside Honda. The prize was awarded by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) in recognition of Gestamp's close collaboration with Honda in the development of the Honda Civic, which also won the 2016 North American Car of the Year.
Gestamp and Honda won the award for their work on the soft zone system, which was co-developed by the two companies. This innovative system is a big step forward in terms of safety, as it means impact energy is absorbed by the components in the event of a crash.
This co-development started in 2013 with Honda in Japan, and then shifted to North America in 2014 as an effort of the global development team. Currently, Gestamp manufactures various bodywork components for the 2016 Honda Civic in its plant in West Virginia. Production of the Honda Civic began at the end of last year and soon became a resounding R&D success for Gestamp, which operates in 20 countries and has 95 production plants.
SMDI is an organization that defends and promotes the use of steel by developing innovative materials and promoting their use in the automotive industry. It awards this prize each year in recognition of the development of cutting-edge innovations in high-strength steel. Gestamp uses steel in hot stamping, a technique in which it is a proven global leader.
Commitment to co-development with clients
The awards ceremony, held in Livonia, Mich., was attended by Kou Khang, Key Account Manager of Honda at Gestamp.
"To use the most advanced technology and its commitment to co-development with clients means that Gestamp could become a natural ally to car manufacturers in the development of components that are critical to passenger safety and weight saving," said Khang.
Khang also thanked Honda for the trust placed in the company and the SMDI for its recognition of Gestamp and Honda on such a global stage. "We are so proud of having worked shoulder to shoulder with Honda on this project and of winning such a prestigious award from the Steel Market Development Institute."
Gestamp is highly committed to co-developing the most cutting-edge technology in close collaboration with car manufacturers. This approach allows for the joint manufacture of chassis, bodywork and mechanisms designed to maximize weight saving in order to produce lighter and safer cars.
Gestamp aims to become a technological leader and to increase its market share in key geographical areas with potential for growth, such as North America, and where it’s possible to increase collaboration with leading global manufacturers.
With over 1,300 employees working on innovation tasks and 12 R&D centers, Gestamp plans to open new facilities of this type in North America, China and Japan. The Group, whose reputation is built around steel and the multiple solutions based on this material, is well positioned in the 'multi-material' solutions market to offer clients the best combinations of steel, aluminium and all types of fibre components.