A new era of issues is roiling supply chains. Products and technologies are changing. Different manufacturing imperatives are rising. Material needs are updating. And new suppliers are entering the business as automakers rethink their future supply chains.
For a glimpse into how fundamental the coming changes are, consider just one supplier: Novelis.
The Atlanta aluminum supplier traces its roots to Canada and England, where it once produced parts for the fabled British World War II Spitfire fighter plane. Today, Novelis is a subsidiary of Indian aluminum, copper and metals producer Hindalco Industries Ltd. It is a world giant in aluminum, figuring large in the beverage-can business while also supplying parts to automakers in multiple markets.
But these days, Novelis sees even bigger opportunity in North American automotive, so it is investing in the U.S.
Forecasting firm Market Research Future anticipates that as automakers electrify and compete to improve battery range, the push for lighter-weight materials for vehicles and components will spur aluminum demand. The firm forecasts automotive aluminum will grow at a compound annual rate of 8.5 percent through the end of this decade, reaching $133 billion in revenue — an increase of $78 billion from 2019 levels.