NLMK Group, Russia's largest steelmaker with operations in Russia, the USA and EU member states, has delivered a trial batch of new high-strength, hot-dip galvanised steel to the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus plant in St. Petersburg.

The new grade of rolled steel has been designated SGRC440 and classified as a high-tech steel. It was previously supplied to the automotive plant by international manufacturers for the production of interior panels for Hyundai's Solaris and Kia Rio models.

A special technology that produces steel sheets with enhanced characteristics was introduced at Novolipetsk in order to develop the new product. The enhanced characteristics, claims NLMK, provide for a high strength combined with optimal ductility. "The product meets the standards set out in the Hyundai-Kia Motor Company Global Material Guide in full, having successfully passed through laboratory trials at the Hyundai Motor Company R&D centre in South Korea as well as a test stamping in St. Petersburg," NLMK said.

Ilya Guschin, NLMK group vice president of sales, said that the successful trial of the company's steel products was 'expanding the horizons' of the Russian steel giant in terms of co-operation with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus, 'which is planning to actively develop its business in Russia', according to Guschin.

"We intend to drive the volume of sales of high value added products to the Russian market, which is of great importance to us, by expanding our range of high-tech products and by offering a high level of customer service," Guschin added.

When setting up its St Petersburg facility, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus wanted suppliers capable of providing 'reliable just-in-time delivery of steel' that met with the company’s corporate standards and was in no way inferior to equivalent products available by import. NLMK Group fit the bill.