NCR Ford Award
Published on May 28th 2021 in

Ford receives award for AHSS innovation

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has awarded the “Automotive Excellence Award” to Ford Motor Company for their advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) innovations in the 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga. The award was presented by John Catterall, vice president of AISI’s automotive program at the 19th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) virtual symposium in Southfield, Michigan.

Michael Kozak, global body structure manager at Ford, received the award for his GDIS 2019 presentation titled, “The All New 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga.” Ford leveraged an efficient, scalable platform to deliver a global nameplate optimised for each market’s needs. The application of high strength and ultra-high strength steels allowed for optimal strength-to-weight that delivers National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-Star Safety Ratings with an exciting driving dynamic.

Optimised engineering sections and joints maximised occupant space for improved accommodation and usage, ensuring people and their gear are comfortable. Regional tailoring of critical structural members avoided any scar mass or cost not necessary for unique market requirements. Overall, the 2020 Escape/Kuga is a lighter vehicle performing to a higher customer standard, while maintaining small SUV affordability.

“Automotive Excellence Award winners use advanced high-strength steel in applications to provide the best value for consumers while also improving vehicle performance and sustainability,” said Catterall. “Steel is driving innovation and Michael and the Ford team are a great example of the capability of these next generation steel grades.”

The AISI Automotive Excellence Award is presented each year at GDIS. 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 market are awarded for their innovation. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including: challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; and implementation in production.

This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at:

Industry Partners