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Hyundai Motor looks to secure rare earth supplies

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 3:28pm
Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor, South Korea's top automaker, said on Monday that it was seeking to secure rare earth metals used in electric and hybrid cars, as the industry braces for a possible shortage of the minerals.

Rare earth metals like neodymium are used in the powerful magnets in motors that are a key component for electric and hybrid cars. China produces 97 percent of the world's rare earth metals, but Beijing set 2010 export quotas 40 percent lower than 2009 levels, raising alarm among buyer nations.

Hyundai Motor, the world's fifth-biggest carmaker along with Kia Motors, proposed in a regulatory filing on Friday a change in its articles of incorporation to "secure resources for the development of eco-friendly vehicles."

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