New US magnet factory to supply GM’s electric vehicle production
December 15, 2021
General Motors has announced that Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co. KG (VAC), a producer of advanced magnetic materials and rare earth permanent magnets headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is to build a new plant in the US to manufacture permanent magnets for the electric motors used in GM’s Ultium Platform for its electric vehicles. It was added that the new plant aims to use locally sourced raw materials.
“We are building a resilient and sustainable EV manufacturing value chain in North America from raw materials to components to drive GM’s growth and support a mass market for EVs,” stated Shilpan Amin, GM’s vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Our work with VAC is another bold step forward that will help ensure that we meet our goal to lead the EV industry in North America in more than just sales.”
VAC is a leading global producer of advanced magnetic materials and reportedly the largest producer of permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere, with nearly 100 years of experience.
Dr Erik Eschen, CEO of VAC, added, “We are thrilled to join forces with GM on this journey into an increasingly electrified world, leveraging sustainable clean energy solutions. As VAC’s Permanent Magnet Division is the only industrial-scale producer of rare earth permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere, VAC brings reliable scale and experience to GM’s supply chain. VAC’s deep magnetic materials knowledge and extensive e-mobility technology expertise, in partnership with GM, will enable a cleaner global future for our communities.”
A non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been completed and both companies expect to finalise definitive agreements in early 2022. The location of the facility will be announced at a later date, with production expected to begin in 2024.