Pascal Wagner, Hydro's head of lithography, automotive and heat exchanger business unit, said, "To accommodate this procurement policy in the best possible way, we are allying in technological know-how with Kobe as an optimal partner. They have a strong position in serving automotive production facilities in Asia, while we are a major supplier of rolled aluminium products to automotive customers in Europe."

The two companies believe that by sharing technology and know-how, they will be able to meet the global supply needs of the automotive industry.

Hydro's head of rolled products, Oliver Bell, who is also executive vice president, said the co-operation with Kobe strengthens Hydro's industry position in the area of special products. It also helps Hydro's automotive customers to secure a global sourcing of premium quality aluminium sheet, he said.

Kobe Steel supplies aluminium coils and sheet for use in car bodies and supplies mainly to Japanese car manufacturers.