December 7, 2021
With supply short, Ford dips toe into computer chip business

With supply short, Ford dips toe into computer chip business

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is in talks with a computer chip maker to shore up its semiconductor provides and keep away from a repeat of this 12 months’s auto manufacturing unit shutdowns attributable to semiconductor shortages.

Few particulars of the nonbinding settlement with GlobalFoundaries Inc. had been launched, however the deal goals to spice up provides with joint growth of automotive-grade chips. And it may lead to joint manufacturing to assist the auto business, the businesses mentioned Thursday in a ready assertion.

Ford has been hit notably arduous by a world chip scarcity that has weighed on practically each automaker. Like different firms, Ford at instances has needed to quickly shut auto crops and even construct fashions with out some computer systems, and putting in them ater.

The corporate’s U.S. gross sales fell 27% from July via September and it misplaced 2.4 proportion factors of market share largely as a result of it could not produce sufficient autos to fulfill shopper demand.

“This settlement is only the start, and a key a part of our plan to vertically combine key applied sciences and capabilities,” mentioned CEO Jim Farley, who’s pushing Ford to develop extra of its supply chain to make sure the elements hold flowing.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Flake mentioned the businesses are on the “memorandum of understanding” part of their relationship however wish to work collectively to design chips and probably leverage their manufacturing expertise.

GlobalFoundaries, primarily based about three hours north of New York Metropolis within the city of Malta, says on its web site that it has chip factories within the U.S., Germany and Singapore, and is among the many world’s largest unbiased semiconductor makers with greater than 15,000 workers.

Monetary particulars of the settlement weren’t launched, it doesn’t contain cross-ownership between the businesses, the assertion mentioned.

The chip scarcity has roots to the spring of 2020 as world automakers had been compelled to shutter factories to cease the unfold of the novel coronavirus. The factories got here again on-line ahead of anticipated with security precautions, however by then, many chip makers had shifted manufacturing to high-demand shopper electronics.

Trade executives and analysts predict that the scarcity will final nicely into subsequent 12 months, and that automakers could not get again to regular manufacturing till 2023.

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