Automotive Metals Fall as GM Recall Investigation Continues

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Mary Barra, just two months on the job as General Motors’ CEO, will testify before a congressional subcommittee April 1 about a widening safety recall that threatens to damage the automaker’s reputation following its emergence from bankruptcy, USA Today reported today. Late Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which March 10 announced it would investigate GM’s recall of 1.6 million vehicles due to an ignition switch defect that may affect airbag deployment, announced Barra’s appearance.

GM is facing scrutiny because of changes made to its ignition switches which include the detent plunger and spring, two metal parts that fit together inside a car’s ignition column, whose designs were changed without owner or government notification. When a car key has been turned to the “on” position, the two parts hold the key in place but some of the GM switches moved from “on” to “accessory” before the change was made.

The primary copper cash price fell 0.4 percent on the LME over the past week to $6,471 per metric ton. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. The copper 3-month price fell 0.3 percent on the LME over the past week to $6,450 per metric ton. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. The freefall in copper prices could actually lead to significant cost savings for automotive OEMs.

US platinum bar fell 1.9 percent, making it the biggest mover on the Automotive MMI. US palladium bar saw a 1.6 percent decline over the past week. US HDG rose 0.8 percent over the past week.

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In other automotive news, Alcoa continues to invest heavily in the shift from steel to aluminum for auto products including body panels and wheels and there is a bright future for magnesium fittings that for automobiles.

The price of Chinese lead rose 0.2 percent after falling 0.9 percent during the previous week. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet remained essentially flat from the previous week.

The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.