Steel Products

GM’s Shift to EVs Brings Opportunities for Steel Suppliers

Written by Laura Miller

A technological revolution and the change to electric vehicles are coming faster than you think, Thomas Hosea, executive director of global purchasing and supply chain (GPSC) central operations at General Motors told attendees of Steel Market Update’s 2022 Steel Summit Tuesday morning in Atlanta.


“This moment in time is historic for our company,” the GM executive stated. “We’ve changed the world before and we’re doing it again.”

Eventually the Detroit-based automaker hopes to put everyone in a zero-emissions vehicle, and to do so, it is creating EVs for every need and at every price point.

Changing the world will take everyone’s help, and Hosea challenged everyone in attendance to join GM on this journey. It will take innovation, sustainability efforts, reliant supply chains, pushing boundaries, developing new materials, and working on solutions together.

Seeing each other as partners and working together are foundational for any company to establish a healthy supplier relationship with GM, Hosea said. A common goal also needs to be establishing resilient value chains.

Having learned hard lessons in supply chain management over the past few years, building a resilient and reliable North American supply chain is now a focus for the automaker. Doing so will allow it to produce more and more vehicles to meet growing demand.

The company has secured contracts and commitments for all the EV raw materials it will need through 2025, Hosea said, and plans to continue to lock in long-term contracts to secure the capacities it needs.

Green steels and carbon net-zero steels will play a huge part in the company’s—and country’s—shifts towards decarbonization. GM doesn’t necessarily want to pay a premium for green steels, but seems willing to do so in the short term. As volumes grow, however, it does expect costs to come down as well.

Hosea sees huge growth potential for electrical steels, predicting the need for massive volumes of the product as it shifts its fleet to all EVs in the coming years.

As for the battle of steel vs. aluminum and the question of what will be the material of choice for EVs, Hosea said it’s hard to say exactly, as every application needs to be unique to each individual vehicle. GM’s perspective is that it’s a case-by-case basis, as the company will do what’s best for that particular vehicle and the particular needs of its customers.

By Laura Miller,

Laura Miller

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