TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Nippon Steel Corp. and India's Tata Steel Ltd. are considering jointly producing steel sheets for cars as automakers eye aggressive expansion in India, according to a media report Wednesday.
Nippon Steel president Akio Mimura and Tata Steel chairman Ratan Tata met in Japan last month to discuss prospects for the venture, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing an unnamed spokesman for the Japanese company.
India is a promising market for makers of high-grade steel products such as Nippon Steel, the world's No. 2 steelmaker after ArcelorMittal. Japanese automakers with operations in India include Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp.
Nippon Steel is forging closer ties with other partners, including South Korea's Posco — the world's fourth largest steelmaker — amid growing concern over the competitive threat posed by ArcelorMittal.
The world's biggest steelmaker was formed just this year with the merger of Mittal Steel Co. NV with Arcelor SA, in a deal that received final shareholder approval this month.
Nippon Steel remains cautious about investing in new blast furnaces but is going on an offensive by teaming up with overseas partners to supply high-end steel to carmakers and shipbuilders.
It said Tuesday it is ready to consider participating in Posco's expansion of cold-rolled steel production in Vietnam, where demand for such steel is growing strongly.