Hyundai Motor is the most recent automaker to announce plans to develop its personal semiconductor chips so as to scale back reliance on chipmakers, in accordance with the corporate’s international chief working officer, José Munoz.
As automobile gross sales fell through the pandemic, automakers paused their orders simply as electronics producers started ramping up manufacturing, and snapping up the prevailing provide of chips, to fulfill the raised demand in laptops and gaming consoles. When customers began shopping for autos once more, automakers had been met with a worldwide semiconductor scarcity that has led to most OEMs — aside from Tesla and Toyota — idling manufacturing strains that brought about a dip in automobile gross sales. As most OEMs additionally got here out with aggressive plans to go electrical, the necessity for chips has by no means been stronger. Except for Hyundai, Tesla and Basic Motors have introduced plans to supply their very own chips and lower out the center man.
Whereas Hyundai’s gross sales this previous quarter didn’t endure an excessive amount of, Munoz did say the “hardest months” had been August and September, in accordance with Reuters. The South Korean automaker needed to briefly shut down some factories this yr, however Munoz stated the worst had handed for the chip scarcity, citing Intel’s large investments to broaden capability.
Nonetheless, Munoz advised reporters Hyundai doesn’t wish to get caught with no provide once more and must be extra self-reliant within the area. He acknowledged that creating chips in-house would take lots of time and funding, however that it’s “one thing we’re engaged on,” almost certainly at the side of Hyundai Mobis, the corporate’s elements affiliate.
“The power to safe provide could also be a distinguishing function of the profitable OEMs that survive the trade shakeup and consolidation,” Bob Leigh, senior market growth director of business markets at Actual-Time Improvements, a software program framing firm, advised TechCrunch. “It’s extra probably that OEMs will purchase and/or associate with the companies that may safe the availability. However, this scarcity will drive the trade to undertake new chip applied sciences which might be extra economical to supply. The chip makers don’t wish to make the legacy chips that automakers need.”
Leigh additionally stated that though many automakers will most likely transfer in the identical path of attempting to personal their very own chip growth, it’s not essentially possible as a result of they don’t have the experience and he doesn’t suppose it’s going to scale.