As international competition grows ever more fierce in the steel industry, it’s not enough to just provide a better product and just hope customers find it. Which is why POSCO has developed its unique “Solution Marketing” approach, a five-step method of improving competitiveness by adding value for customers.
One area where POSCO is demonstrating the power of Solution Marketing is the automotive sector, where the company’s World Premium (WP) products are creating better vehicles by collaborating with manufacturers. For Ssangyong Motor with the Tivoli Air, Renault-Samsung with the SM6 and GM with the newest Malibu, all are enjoying major new successes, thanks in no small part to POSCO’s ultra high-tensile steel.
What Is ‘Solution Marketing’?
POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon introduced Solution Marketing in 2014, quickly gaining notice in the industry for this customer-first approach to the business. “In the automotive industry, steel needs to high strength in order to reduce the amount of it used in each vehicle and to minimize the vehicle’s weight,” said CEO Kwon. “However, because high-strength steel lacks formability, companies often find it difficult to apply high-strength steel to their products. So it is not sufficient for the manufacturers of high-strength steel to simply provide their product. They also need to provide molding and welding. Solution marketing means providing the steel in the best shape and the best condition for their customers.”
But more than just solution marketing, it’s about working with people to provide the solutions they need for their lives. For POSCO, this means strengthening sales capacity by introducing human solutions, to reach customers in a friendlier way.
Tivoli Air Shows the Power of POSCO’s World Premium Steel
The Tivoli SUV is the key model of Ssangyong Motor, enjoying great popularity since it was launched in Korea last year. Selling 64,000 cars already, the Tivoli has become the No. 1 selling vehicle in the compact SUV category in Korea, and a prime example of the benefits of Solution Marketing. Thanks to strengthening ties with Ssangyong, last June POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding to further enhance their strategic partnership.
One successful result of that agreement is the Tivoli Air, a long-body version of the popular vehicle and one that uses 71.1 percent POSCO World Premium ultra high-tensile steel in its body—much higher than most compact SUVs, which typically use 50 percent high-strength steel. World Premium (WP) ultra high-tensile steel is recognized for its high quality, with relatively simple figuration, light weight and great strength. The strength of this World Premium steel improves the safety performance and makes for a lighter vehicle, which improves performance and reduces emissions.
And to keep growing that relationship, the two companies have formed the Ssangyong Motor-POSCO Partnership Promoting Consultative Organization, which will try to find more ways to continue working together in the future.
SM6 Introduces Steel Innovation for Stylish Success
POSCO has also brought Solution Marketing to Renault-Samsung, developing a whole new type of steel technology that helped the company create an outstanding new model.
The SM6 (or Renault Talisman, as it is known in Europe) is a mid-size sedan that has earned positive reviews for its style and cost-effectiveness. It was even awarded the “Most Beautiful Car of the Year” prize at the International Car Festival in Paris. This was accomplished thanks in part to POSCO’s ultra high-tensile steel.
POSCO steel plates were used for 100 percent of the cars exterior and interior, of which 18.5 percent was giga-pascal level ultra high-tensile steel, the maximum level allowed for this class of vehicle. It was also the first time in Korea that TWB-HPF (combined build processed products) was applied, a technology that combines steel plates of different strengths and thicknesses, cutting them into just the right shape. It’s a new technology that POSCO invented, and it helped Samsung-Renault create a stronger, lighter-weight vehicle.
With more than 16,000 pre-orders in its first 20 days, the SM6 has proven to be a significant hit, especially with people in their 30s and 40s. But it was an achievement that required a strong collaboration and relationship between POSCO and Renault-Samsung.
Ultra High-Tensile Steel Brings New Excitement to Malibu
The newest edition of GM’s Malibu is enjoying some of its best buzz in years, in no small part due to the benefits brought by POSCO’s high-quality, ultra high-tensile steel, which was applied extensively in its body.
Because of that ultra high-tensile steel, the new Malibu is 130 kilograms lighter than the previous model, but it still possesses the highest level of safety compared to other vehicles in the same weight range. In fact, the improved safety levels produced by POSCO’s ultra high-tensile steel helped earn the new Malibu five stars in the 2016 New Car Assessment Program from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the best results in its class.
More than 10,000 Malibus were pre-ordered in just the first 10 days in Korea alone, once again showing how POSCO, by working with its customers, is able to expand markets and improve their business together.
The Limitless Possibilities of Solution Marketing
When CEO Kwon introduced Solution Marketing, he said “We will never stop providing the steel products that customers need, but we will go beyond supplying products to create greater value by offering tailored solutions based on constantly listening to their ever-evolving needs.”
More than just steel, Solution Marketing is about finding technical, commercial and human solutions. The great results now being enjoyed by the Tivoli, SM6, and Malibu are showing just how right Solution Marketing is—for POSCO and for its customers.