The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping CEO Lourenco Goncalves. “We are back on track and ready to fulfill our vision for the new Cleveland-Cliffs, which includes our mines and pellet plants, AK Steel, AK Tube, Precision Partners and our new HBI plant.”
Having set his sights on the auto industry and already dedicating more than 60 percent of production to auto, Goncalves says the company is primed to do more.
“In the demanding business of supplying steel to the automotive industry, chemical and metallurgical consistency is critical. We can do this very well. Because among other things we have our own iron ore production and are self-sufficient in-house. We also have the right equipment to produce the highly specified materials.
“Equally important, we also have the dedicated brain power, and indeed capability, to develop the steels of the future cars. And that’s something others in this market will not be able to accomplish anytime soon. Our clients know that. Our competitors do too.”
Cliffs recently added Tesla to its client portfolio and sees the new wave of electric vehicles as an opportunity. And, those cars will need steel.
“Aluminum has been trying to become a mainstream material in cars for a long, long time. And except for the Ford F-150, they have never succeeded on pretty much anything that they tried. The biggest problem with aluminum is called the consumer,” says Goncalves. “Consumers of F-150 with aluminum don’t like the car.”
He notes that even Tesla, whose first car was aluminum, has abandoned the material in favor of steel in the Tesla 3. “No matter how we skin the cat, aluminum will continue to be a wannabe,” claims Goncalves.
Known for his frank style of talking, Goncalves will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s SMU Steel Summit 2020. Register for the Aug. 24-26 conference by clicking here.
Lourenco Goncalves was appointed Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland-Cliffs in August 2014. Since joining the company, he has implemented a strategic initiative designed to strengthen Cliffs’ position as a major player in the U.S. steel industry. In March 2020, he led Cliffs’ acquisition of AK Steel, a major supplier to the auto industry. Cleveland-Cliffs will also be the sole producer of hot briquetted iron (HBI) in the Great Lakes region upon complete of the new $1 billion HBI plant in Toledo.
Goncalves brings more than 30 years of experience in the metals and mining industries. Prior to Cliffs, he served as Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Metals USA Holdings Corp., President and Chief Executive Officer of California Steel Industries, Inc., and held various positions in operations and sales at Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN). He earned a Master of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and a Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Military Institute of Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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