ArcelorMittal, the world’s top steelmaker, said on Sunday it would use its Chinese joint venture to tap into the country’s fast-growing car market, helping offset slackening steel demand on the back of a slowing economy.
The company’s joint venture with China’s Hunan Valin Steel Co starts operation this month, with an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, including hot and cold-rolled coils, and parts such as chassis and wheels.
“Demand for autos in China will continue to grow. Today, China produces about 20 million cars per year … so there is demand for these kind of niche products, like the ultra light-weight auto steel,” Lakshmi Mittal, the company’s chief executive, told Reuters in an interview in central Hunan province.
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