Auto steel supplier ArcelorMittal to forge new plant in Detroit

23 November 2016

Detroit will be the home of a new manufacturing plant for one of the world's largest steel companies, state officials said Monday.

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks — a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading steel and mining companies, ArcelorMittal — will produce high-strength steel, laser-welded blanks for automakers. The new manufacturing operation in a 317,000-square-foot building north of General Motors' Hamtramck Assembly plant is the first plant in the state for the company.

The company did not immediately say when the plant is expected to open.

According to the company's website, ArcelorMittal has two tailored blanks facilities in the U.S., one in Pioneer, Ohio, and the other in Murfreesboro, Tenn. In combination with advanced high-strength steel, the company says that tailor welded blanks offer substantial potential for vehicle safety improvement and weight savings while reducing overall production costs.

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks will be located in the recently established industrial park near I-94 that includes another supplier, Flex-N-Gate. With the support in May of a state grant, Flex-N-Gate said it will invest $95 million to manufacture exterior trim components along with aluminum and steel modular stamped body chassis assemblies, among other products.

Other steelmakers already have a presence in metro Detroit. U.S. Steel operates Great Lakes Steel Downriver and Severstal recently sold its plant to AK Steel. Both supply most of their production to the auto industry.

With its expansion into Detroit, state officials said, ArcelorMittal receives a $2-million Michigan Business Development Program performance grant for a project that will create a minimum of 120 jobs over five years, and a capital investment of $83.5 million.

“The state’s consideration of a performance-based grant to support this endeavor is critical in advancing our business strategy as we further expand our footprint in Michigan, bringing new jobs and investment to the region,” Ben Orler, vice president of operations at ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, said in a statement.