Vacuumschmelze (VAC), the German manufacturer of magnetic materials and rare earth permanent magnets, has signed a binding supply agreement with US automaker General Motors (GM). Under the agreement, a production facility is currently being built in the U.S. to provide GM’s electric motor factories with the necessary magnets (we reported). Production is scheduled to start in 2025.
VAC, based in the Hessian town of Hanau, Germany, states that it is the largest manufacturer of NdFeB permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere. China dominates this sector, accounting for more than 90 percent of the global market; the People’s Republic is also responsible for about 60 percent of annual rare earth mine production.
Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, global purchasing and supply chain, called the agreement another milestone in building a secure and sustainable supply chain in the electromobility sector. The Group has also signed a supply agreement with MP Materials; the U.S. mining company operates the only domestic rare earth mine to date and is also currently building a factory for permanent magnets made from these raw materials (we reported).
Photo: iStock/xiao zhou