At thyssenkrupp Steel we have been a strong and reliable partner to our customers for many years. And we want to extend and further intensify these fruitful and diverse relationships in the future – particularly because we know that some of our customer sectors are also currently undergoing major transformations. To take this path we need to be able to tackle the continuing structural problems on the European steel market. This would become increasingly difficult to do on our own. So thyssenkrupp and the Indian Tata group have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of combining their European steel activities in a joint venture. The new company will be called thyssenkrupp Tata Steel and start operation at the end of 2018 after approval by the regulatory authorities. The objective is to create a strong number two on the European flat steel market.
Tata is our partner of choice for several reasons: Our businesses are a very good fit and our strengths lie in different, complementary product areas. The main locations in Duisburg, IJmuiden in the Netherlands and Port Talbot in the United Kingdom have good logistical links. A joint, extended production network will provide greater closeness to customers throughout Europe. Both companies have strong innovative capabilities: By pooling research activities we expect to be able to provide our customers with more targeted and intensive support to meet their challenges. And finally Tata’s corporate culture is also a good fit: Tata has been in the steel business for more than 100 years and – like us – stands for responsibility towards employees and society. To establish the joint venture we need a responsible partner who is willing to accept changes. And here in particular trust and reliability are essential.
The logic of a joint venture dictates that competencies are pooled, weaknesses eliminated and strengths enhanced. Key to the sustainable success of the joint venture will be continuously creating added value for our customers and focusing more closely on their needs. That is our aspiration and we will be judged by it.