Traverse City, Mich. — The Steel Market Development Institute doesn't miss many opportunities to market itself to the auto industry.
In January, the trade group had a massive display touting its role in the auto industry at the entrance to the North American International Auto Show's media center, which meant 5,000 media members from 60 different countries walked past the auto steel group's display.
Now at an annual automotive industry conference in Traverse City, the auto steel group is in everyone's pockets and in their hands.
At least those staying at the host hotel, the Grand Traverse Resort.
Each room key bears the logo of the steel development group and the message: “Steel matters, demand nothing less.”
Resort staff said during conferences, suppliers sometimes arrange to ship a supply of the plastic room key cards. (Last month, it was the maker of dental instruments to a conference for dentists.)
So while plastics may be continuing to gain ground in the auto industry, the steel industry is still making sure no one forgets about its benefits.
Of course there is a silver lining. As an executive for the Center for Automotive Research, which organizes the auto industry Management Briefing Seminars put it, the message may be steel, but it's presented on plastic.