Now these original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are going a step further and are looking at investing directly in mining companies and projects themselves.
It is a strategy that Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Co, understood well.
With the goal of vertical integration, the American industrialist who had revolutionized the automotive sector recognized that the next logical step was to control access to the raw materials used to make his vehicles.
He set about buying up coal and iron ore mines in order to have a captive source for his steelmaking furnaces and rolling mills. He added glassmaking and electricity to the mix and started rolling a car a minute off the production line.
The Ford Rouge Center, located in Dearborn, Michigan, and the company’s largest factory, still has steelmaking operations on site although they are now operated by Cleveland-Cliffs and known as the Dearborn Works.