The entire “computer on wheels” concept, which was essentially pioneered by Tesla, has now become the industry norm. Porsche fully anticipates that number to double or possibly treble by the end of this decade. The Porsche Taycan, for example, has more than 8000 computer chip components baked in at the manufacture.
The supply chain disruptions brought on by the Covid epidemic have prompted a fundamental shift in both businesses. A few years ago, the vehicle makers considered those chip companies like poor relatives. C.C. Wei, CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the largest chipmaker in the world, tells Reuters that up until the point when the shortage was critical, he had never received a call from an executive in the auto business.
In Silicon Valley recently, he told a laughing group of TSMC partners and clients, “In the last two years they contact me and act like my closest friend.” According to Wei, who is used to filling orders for 25,000 wafers, one automaker called and urgently requested 25 wafers. “It makes sense why you can’t obtain the help.”
The CEO of GlobalFoundries, Thomas Caulfield, claims that the auto industry is aware that it can no longer entrust the computer chip business with the danger of constructing multi-billion dollar semiconductor facilities. He tells Reuters that “you can’t have one element of the industry carry the water for the rest of the sector.” “We won’t turn on capacity unless that customer is committed to it and has ownership over that capacity,” the company says.
According to AutoForecast Solutions (AFS), since the beginning of 2021, computer chip shortages have compelled automakers all over the world to reduce their planned production of roughly 13 million vehicles. Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AFS, calls the industry “arrogant,” alluding to traditional automakers who are accustomed to giving instructions and expecting the chipmakers to stand to attention and fulfill them. Sometimes it just rears its ugly head and bites them.
FROM PARTNERS TO SUPPLIERS Many semiconductor executives blame automakers for a sizable portion of the recent computer chip supply chain problems on their inability to comprehend how the chip supply chain functions and their refusal to share cost and risk.
However, things are evolving. Ford just revealed that it will cooperate with GlobalFoundries to guarantee its chip supply. More agreements of that nature with other automakers are in the works, according to Mike Hogan, who is in charge of GlobalFoundries’ automotive division. According to CEO Thomas Sonderman of Minnesota-based SkyWater Technology Inc., automakers are interested in putting “skin in the game” by investing in machinery or funding R