SMDI Honors General Motors Design Team for Innovative Use of Advanced Steel at 13th Annual Great Designs in Steel

May 14, 2014

DETROIT, May 14, 2014 – For its use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS), the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), awarded General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 design team with the 2014 Automotive Excellence Award. The team, which successfully incorporated advanced steels to enhance safety and performance, and offer significant low-cost lightweighting benefits, was recognized this afternoon during the 13th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) seminar in Livonia, Mich. 

Thomas Grabowski, design release engineer, accepted the award on behalf of the GM design team. During last year’s seminar, Grabowski delivered the award-winning presentation titled “Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.” 

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 feature AHSS stampings, which enable significant increases in safety performance. According to Grabowski, the vehicles’ designs also feature enhanced mass efficiency, reduced tooling investment and an average weight reduction of 110 pounds compared to their major competitors. 

“The GM design team has done an outstanding job redesigning the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 models with consumer-focused improvements in safety, performance and fuel efficiency,” said Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive market, SMDI. “Their use of advanced high-strength steel stampings contribute to the vehicles’ mass efficiency, fuel economy and safety performance ratings, all essential criteria for consumers in today’s market.”

The SMDI Automotive Excellence Award recognizes individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive marketplace. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including: implementation in production; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; replacement of competitive materials; and structural performance and efficiency. 

GDIS debuted in 2002 and has grown in attendance and scope. In 2013, more than 1,300 North American vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, equipment suppliers, university representatives, steel company personnel and technical reporters attended the seminar. Founding members include: AK Steel Corporation; ArcelorMittal Dofasco; ArcelorMittal USA LLC; Nucor Corporation; Severstal North America; and United States Steel Corporation. Helping to support this year’s event is Superior Roll Forming, a GDIS Gold Sponsor. 

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 22 members, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI’s member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. 

SMDI grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit or follow us on twitter at SMDI automotive investors include: AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, Severstal North America and United States Steel Corporation.

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Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763 / 586.634.1766

Jennifer Greenfelder 
Manager, Automotive Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4767