Ford CEO Jim Farley Seeks 'Smart Deals' With Mining Industry Amid Soaring Metal Prices

Ford Motor Co NYSE: F has called on the mining industry to work together on "smart deals" that will help offset rising commodity prices amid the legacy automaker's push towards electrification.

What Happened:  Ford CEO Jim Farley said on Wednesday the company is seeing significant pricing pressure on the commodity side for steel, aluminum, copper, lithium, and nickel.

"We're focused on lithium and nickel. We want to do smart deals that work for them and for us," Farley told analysts on a post-earnings call on Wednesday.  

Lithium and nickel are key ingredients in making EV batteries.

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford is seeing inflationary pressures from suppliers and logistics as well.

Farley said Ford is ready to invest in moving some of the mining and refining of the metals to North America "for a variety of reasons."

See Also: Ford Q1 Earnings Highlights: Revenue And EPS Beat, Valuation Of Rivian Stake Down Sharply, Electric Vehicle Forecast And More

Why It Matters: Farley's comment comes days after Tesla Inc NASDAQ: TSLA CEO Elon Musk said more people need to get into the lithium business to address the massive supply-demand gap. 

The mining and refining of lithium appear to be the "key limiting factor to accelerating the advent of a sustainable energy future," Musk had said last week.

An index of global lithium prices compiled by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence soared 280% in 2021 and is up 127% in the first quarter of this year. Nickel prices have rocketed as well.

See Also: Tesla Getting Into Lithium Mining Is True 'Vertical Integration,' Says Gene Munster

Price Action: Ford shares closed 0.9% higher at $14.85 on Wednesday and were 2.09% up in after-hours trading.

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