Hyundai sees increase in demand for concrete mixers after switching from regular steel to SSAB's Hardox
Since introducing Hardox steel as a competitive feature two years ago, Hyundai claims to have increased its market share from 50% to 80%
Hyundai Motors reports that demand for its concrete mixer trucks has surged since the company switched from regular steel to SSAB’s Hardox abrasion-resistant steel two years ago to produce the vehicles.
The result of adopting Hardox has been an increase in the abrasion and corrossion resistance of mixer drums, hoppers and chutes designed and manufactured by Hyundai. The company has also seen a decrease in the the long-term costs of its customers as the concrete mixer’s service life is doubled.
Byung-cheol Kang, sales manager at Hyundai Motor, said: “Since we started to use drums made of Hardox, the sales have increased drastically. The reason for choosing Hardox is its durability. Compared to other mixer trucks, these last a great deal longer. They have a very long lifespan; therefore, the customer demand is high for mixers made out of Hardox steel."
Joo-suk Shim, engineer designer in the special designs team at the plant for commercial vehicles, Hyundai Motor, Jeonju, South Korea, explained: “Hardox steel was harder to work with, because it is so strong and there is less deformation than in conventional steel. SSAB was extremely helpful to us. First, when reviewing the blade design on the drum made of Hardox. Then, when analyzing the discharge rate and mixing effect of the concrete. We received valuable data which we have been able to include in the design. The hardest thing was shaping Hardox steel to fit the blade molds. SSAB was operational in getting this to work. Also, welding steel plates in straight lines did not work, so Hyundai made the drum in a slightly different way, using a spiral design. The switch to Hardox steel came mainly from customer demand. The market knew what it wanted and asked for it."
Hyundai listened to its customers and introduced Hardox steel as a competitive feature. Even though there was a cost increase for Hardox, the demand also increased.
"What differentiates us is that we always pay attention to our customers' opinions and focus on meeting their needs. We include their demands in our design. The service life is more than doubled from the earlier design. You can't tell from simply looking if a mixer is made out of a regular steel plate or if it is actually Hardox. However, when customers see the 'Hardox In My Body' sign they trust that they get quality design because they know the brand. We offer a lot better quality than our competitors, and we now have a market share of 80% compared to 50%, previously,” said Byung-cheol Kang.