The race by Tesla, Samsung and other technology giants to secure supplies of lithium — a key ingredient in batteries for electric vehicles and smartphones — is creating a unique chance for two global mining superpowers to reap more value from their natural resources.
Challenge: Global automakers have highly optimized supply chains, yet a lack of end-to-end visibility limits their ability to make further gains. For one carmaker, this made it difficult to provide accurate ETAs. In turn, this led to significant buffering and higher opportunity costs.
Beijing’s threat to use its dominance of rare earths in the trade war risks serious disruption to U.S. industry, by starving manufacturers of components commonplace in everything from cars to dishwashers and military equipment.