German carmakers join forces to negotiate buying treaties with governments

23 September 2011

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23 September 2011 | Angeline Albert

Carmaker Daimler has confirmed it is considering jointly purchasing raw materials with other German manufacturers in order to secure its supply of scarce goods.

The manufacturer has said it would like to be part of Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie’s (BDI) purchasing initiative to agree buying treaties with governments which give BDI’s corporate members preferred purchasing rights for scarce raw materials such as Rare Earth Elements (REEs).

The BDI is an association of 38 manufacturing associations which represent 100,000 German companies from the car, chemical, electrical, machinery and equipment industries. Although the BDI’s plans are at an early stage of canvassing support among its members, the association is currently liaising with governments in Mongolia and Kazakhstan with a view to establishing purchasing agreements.

The move has been sparked by complaints from BDI members about the barriers to purchasing sufficient raw materials such as coking coal and REEs from sources such as China, which decided in 2010 to reduce its export of REEs.

Daimler has three procurement teams based at its Stuttgart headquarters, which are responsible for purchasing goods and services for passenger cars and vans, trucks and buses and non-production material.

A spokesman for Daimler said: “We can confirm that we are looking to be involved in the BDI’s initiative. It is, at the moment, in the very early stages.”

Earlier this year, SM reported that buyers are facing higher prices for minerals used in phones, televisions and nuclear reactors, following the export restrictions imposed by China which produces about 97 per cent of the world’s 17 REEs.

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