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Steel-intensive Opel/Vauxhall Astra wins 2016 European Car of the Year


ArcelorMittal’s advanced High Strength Steel makes a significant contribution to the lightweight 2016 Car of the Year in Europe.

The Opel/Vauxhall Astra from General Motors has been named 2016 European Car of the Year at the 86th Geneva Motor Show. The Astra was the jury’s favourite by a narrow margin over the Volvo XC90. Both vehicles make extensive use of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) from ArcelorMittal.


Advanced and ultra high strength steels ensure a lightweight vehicle at an affordable price – picture credits GM.

The Astra was recognised for its all-new lightweight architecture which is around 200 kilograms lighter than the previous model. Extensive use of AHSS in the body-in-white (BIW) and structure has cut the weight of the vehicle by 20% (77 kg) alone. Another 50 kg was saved by utilising high and ultra high strength lightweight steels in the chassis.

AHSS key to save weight while increasing comfort and safety

Inside, the Astra’s seats make use of ultra-high strength steels and lightweight polyurethane foams, reducing the combined weight of the front and rear seats by another 10 kg. The result is a vehicle which is significantly lighter and more compact than its predecessor, but with the space, comfort, and safety consumers demand. ArcelorMittal is supplying both hot stamping and cold stamping steels for this car.

Runner-up with record level of hot stamped steel

Volvo’s XC90 was the runner-up to the Astra in the competition. The all-new XC90 has been made stronger through extensive use of hot-formed boron steel, the strongest type of steel currently used in car bodies. Around 40% of the total body weight is made from this hot stamped steel. The increased safety this brings saw the Volvo XC90 also receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest award: TOP SAFETY PICK+.

ArcelorMittal would like to congratulate both General Motors and Volvo on their achievements in this prestigious competition. We look forward to keep working with them (and all carmakers) on their future lightweight mobility solutions.