Despite aggressive marketing efforts by rival materials and the constant push by auto makers to reduce weight, steel has managed to roll with the punches for decades. Thanks mostly to the popularity of steel-intensive pickup trucks, sport/utility vehicles (SUVs) and minivans, the use of steel in the typical North American vehicle rose almost 8% from 1990 to 2000. Only in the past year or two have competitive materials managed to reverse steel’s steady upward progress in the number of pounds ...

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