- BMW Group is pushing its "local for local" strategy as it looks to grow regional supply chains and scale EV production.
- The automaker is particularly interested in localizing supply chains for key battery and EV components in North America, including with a new supplier in Canada and expanded production in South Carolina, according to a news release Monday.
- As part of the strategy, BMW announced a new partnership with battery material maker Umicore for the supply of cathode active components to bolster its North American supply chain.
The push for a deeper supply chain on the continent follows BMW's moves in recent months to grow its U.S. EV production network, including with a $1.7 billion investment to expand South Carolina manufacturing capacity.
Now, the company is shifting that focus north with its new supplier Umicore. The Belgium-based battery material manufacturer announced its own plans this week to build a cathode active material plant in Ontario, Canada.
The plant will supply materials to BMW's battery cell manufacturer AESC. BMW is spending $700 million to build a battery factory with AESC in Woodruff, South Carolina.
“The BMW Group pursues a globally balanced procurement strategy in the three main geographical regions of the world," Joachim Post, a member of the BMW Board of Management, said in a statement. "We are pleased that Canada is playing a strong role in establishing a robust and efficient battery cell supply chain for the BMW Group in North America."
Canada is emerging as a strategic choice for automakers and suppliers looking to grow their North American supply chains and take advantage of IRA tax incentives that extend to the country.
In August, Ford, SK On and cathode materials maker EcoProBM announced plans to build a joint EV battery materials site in Bécancour, Québec. The $885.9 million site will produce cathode materials for Ford's EV lineup.
And in March, Volkswagen unveiled plans for its first Canada-based battery factory, slated to open in Ontario in 2027.