Articles in Category: Automotive

The Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) fell by 3.4% for this month’s reading, as auto sales continued to slump in the face of ongoing supply and inventory constraints.

January 2022 Automotive MMI chart

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US auto sales

In the U.S. market, General Motors reported Q4 2021 sales of 440,745 vehicles, or down 43% year over year.

Despite the decline, the automaker indicated the semiconductor supply shortage improved in the fourth quarter.

“GM entered the quarter with record low inventories; however, the company’s fourth-quarter production and wholesale deliveries were up significantly from the third quarter as semiconductor supply conditions improved,” GM said in a release.

However, Toyota outsold GM in the U.S. in 2021, marking the first time GM did not hold the top sales spot since 1931, according to Reuters.

Toyota sold 2,332,262 vehicles in 2021 compared to 2,218,228 vehicles for GM.

Meanwhile, Ford reported its total December sales fell 17.1% to 173,740 vehicles. Truck sales fell 15.5%. SUV sales dropped by 11.1%.

However, while still a relatively small part of the whole, Ford’s electrified vehicle sales jumped by 121.1% to 12,284.

In that vein, Ford announced a commitment to further expand its EV production. The automaker said it plans to nearly double production of the F-150 Lightning pickup to 150,000 vehicles per year at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including coverage of aluminum prices, a General Motors collaboration with MP Materials aimed at developed a fully integrated U.S. rare earth magnet supply chain and much more:

See why technical analysis is a superior forecasting methodology over fundamental analysis and why it matters for your aluminum buy.

Week of Dec. 6-10 (aluminum prices, rare earth magnet supply chain and more)

aluminum price

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  • Nucor Corporation announced plans to build a rebar micro mill in the South Atlantic region. The company already has rebar micro mills in Missouri and Florida.
  • U.S. automotive sales remain depressed as a result of low inventory.
  • U.S. construction spending through the first 10 months of the year jumped 7.5% year over year, the Census Bureau reported.
  • The U.S. steel capacity utilization rate dipped to 81.9% last week, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.
  • Aluminum prices trended sideways in November, MetalMiner analyst Nichole Bastin explained.
  • Energy prices are on the rise in Europe, putting the squeeze on both residential and industrial users.
  • Like aluminum prices, copper prices also consolidated in November after an October spike.
  • Bastin checked in on the stainless steel market, including nickel price volatility.
  • General Motors said it will invest $51 million toward equipment for its aluminum die casting foundry in Bedford, Indiana.
  • Stuart Burns also took a look at aluminum prices and China’s impact on the aluminum market.
  • China introduced a draft plan to reduce emissions from metals by 5% by 2025.
  • Lastly, in the rare earths space, General Motors announced a collaboration with MP Materials to develop a fully integrated supply chain for rare earth magnets. MP materials operates the Mountain Pass rare earths mine and processing facility in California.

Looking for metal price forecasting and data analysis in one easy-to-use platform? Inquire about MetalMiner Insights today. 

This morning in metals news: General Motors will invest $51 million to install equipment at its Bedford, Indiana aluminum casting die foundry; nickel prices have gained this past month; and, lastly, the U.K. trade minister reportedly told the U.S. they could consider expanding tariffs on U.S. goods if the U.S. does not remove the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Upcoming negotiation on your aluminum buy? Make sure you know how your service centers will negotiate with you

GM to invest in aluminum die casting foundry

General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan

Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock

General Motors is investing $51 million to install new equipment at its aluminum die casting foundry in Bedford, Indiana.

The new equipment will support support the manufacture of “drive unit castings for the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and other current casting applications.”

GM will unveil its all-electric Silverado at the CES trade show Jan. 5, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nickel prices rise

Nickel prices have gained over the last month, according to MetalMiner Insights data.

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The Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) dropped by 0.7% for this month’s reading.

December 2021 Automotive MMI chart

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US auto sales

Ford Motor Co. reported November U.S. sales increased by 5.9% year over year to 158,793 vehicles. Total truck sales increased by 4.6%. Meanwhile, SUV sales increased by 20.8% and electrified vehicle sales increased by 153.6%.

“Ford’s electrified vehicle sales in November grew at a rate more than three times faster than the overall electrified vehicle segment, taking Ford’s electrified vehicle share to 10 percent compared to 5.4 percent last year,” the automaker said in its November report. “This set up a record November on sales of 11,116 electrified vehicles – up 153.6 percent. New products are providing the boost, with Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Hybrid sales of 3,088 and 4,767, respectively.”

Meanwhile, Honda reported U.S. sales fell 17.1% month over month. Acura brand sales fell 21.2%, while Honda brand sales dropped 16.6%.

Hyundai reported November sales in the U.S. of 44,345 units, down 20% year over year.

“Consumer demand remains exceptionally high, and our dealers are doing a fantastic job of turning vehicles quickly and selling many before they even hit the lot,” said Randy Parker, senior vice president, national sales, Hyundai Motor America. “Lingering availability issues persisted into November, but we are optimistic that we will close the year strong.”

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

hot rolled coil steel

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Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

Week of Nov. 29-Dec. 3 (hot rolled coil prices, Alcoa announces smelter restart and more)

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This morning in metals news: General Motors announced it had purchased a stake in Pure Watercraft, a firm specializing in “all-electric boating solutions”; aluminum prices ticked up ahead of Thanksgiving; and, lastly, Thyssenkrupp commissioned its 35th EnviNOx® system, which reduces nitrous oxide emissions.

Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

GM buys stake in electric watercraft firm

General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan

Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock

When it comes to the automotive space and electrification, we typically focus on EVs that operate on land.

However, automaker General Motors recently announced it had purchased a stake in Pure Watercraft, which produces all-electric boating solutions. GM purchased a 25% stake in the Seattle-based firm.

“The collaboration between GM and Pure Watercraft advances a shared vision to promote sustainability through an expansion of zero-emissions mobility for future generations and reflects the holistic approach necessary for widespread EV adoption,” GM said.

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While you may be busy putting the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving spread and, subsequently, taking a turkey-induced nap, you might find some time to revisit this week’s coverage, including oil prices, global crude steel production and much more.

Thanksgiving

Alexander Raths/Adobe Stock

But first, in case you missed it, MetalMiner is hosting its final monthly webinar of the year at 10:00 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, Dec. 8. Metal buying organizations will not want to miss it, as the MetalMiner team will delve into price predictions for 2022. For more information about the webinar and to sign up, those interested should visit the MetalMiner Events page.

Elsewhere, MetalMiner also recently launched a suite of precious metals within the MetalMiner Insights platform. In addition to gold and silver, the suite includes platinum and palladium (of particular relevance to the automotive sector), plus rhodium, iridium and ruthenium.

Without further ado, here’s a recap of this week’s coverage:

We’re off today and tomorrow but will resume regular coverage Monday.

But for now, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, MetalMiner readers!

Among a litany of the challenges, the ongoing semiconductor shortage has weighed on U.S. automotive manufacturers.

Despite solid demand, sales have faced strong headwinds from the part shortages, paired with low showroom inventories.

In turn, automakers, including Ford Motor Co., have idled production at various points over the last year. The Detroit automaker idled production at several plants in July and August in response to the chip shortage.

semiconductor and automobile

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However, the automaker recently announced a collaboration that aims to strengthen its position in the semiconductor market.

MetalMiner has launched a full suite of precious metals as part of the MetalMiner Insights platform. This includes a complete suite of catalytic converter precious metals, which are particularly useful for automotive end-use applications.

Ford, GlobalFoundries announce collaboration on semiconductors

Ford late last week announced a “strategic collaboration” with GlobalFoundries to “advance semiconductor manufacturing and technology development within the United States, aiming to boost chip supplies for Ford and the U.S. automotive industry.”

“It’s critical that we create new ways of working with suppliers to give Ford – and America – greater independence in delivering the technologies and features our customers will most value in the future,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said. “This agreement is just the beginning, and a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key technologies and capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future.”

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. The next webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 8, during which the MetalMiner team will discuss price predictions for 2022. To sign up, visit the MetalMiner Events page.

stainless steel rods

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Week of Nov. 15-19 (stainless steel base prices, infrastructure bill and more)

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This morning in metals news: Merchants Fleet will expand its purchases of BrightDrop electric vehicles to 18,000; meanwhile, the Producer Price Index for metals and metal products increased in October; and, finally, the United States International Trade Commission issued a vote on freight rail coupler systems from China.

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Merchants Fleet to expand EV orders from GM’s BrightDrop

electric vehicle charging

kinwun/Adobe Stock

Fleet management company Merchants Fleet will expand its orders of BrightDrop electric vehicles to 18,000.

BrightDrop, a General Motors company, focuses on electrifying the commercial delivery and logistics industry.

“BrightDrop, the technology startup helping decarbonize last-mile deliveries, today announced that Merchants Fleet, the nation’s fastest growing fleet management company, plans to expand its purchase order to 18,000 BrightDrop electric vehicles with the addition of 5,400 EV410s – the recently unveiled mid-size electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV),” GM said in a release.

“The EV410 order adds to the 12,600 EV600s slated to be integrated into the company’s fleet starting in 2023.”

PPI for metals, metal products rises

The Producer Price Index for metals and metal products reached 323.7 in October, according to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED).

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