Infineon, Europe’s largest chip maker, said on Tuesday that automakers are ordering enough semiconductors to build record quantities of cars when supply constraints are eased.
“Looking at the current demand … In the automobile industry, which has excellent transparency for manufactured cars, the current order looks like a 110m to 120m car. [per year]”Chief Executive Officer Reinhard Ploss told the Financial Times.
According to Moody’s, the previous record was set in 2018, when 95 million cars and vans were delivered to customers.
Since then, the global automotive market has shrunk rapidly after a recession, pandemic and semiconductor supply crisis.
According to AlixPartners, the current shortage of critical components could close factories around the world and reduce overall vehicle production to 77m in 2021, about more than expected before the bottleneck. It is 8m less.
However, Pros said the ordering pattern suggests that automakers may be trying to make up for lost production time in the coming months.
“There are many fragments that can read the entire market,” he said, picking out components such as microcontrollers that are made for a particular model and are easy to track.
“If these numbers are representative, the sum of ordering behaviors represents vehicle demand between 110m and 120m.”
Bavarian executives could not suggest that car customers are stockpiling to prevent further shortages, but “evaluating whether this demand will continue after the semiconductor crisis has eased It ’s very difficult. ”
“A considerable part [of the orders] It’s a catch-up, and certain parts are actually additional demand from buyers, “he said.
Separately on Tuesday, Infineon expects fiscal 2022 earnings to increase at a “mid-teen rate”, assuming the exchange rate is stable and there is a “further increase in margins”. Said.
The German group also announced that it will invest a total of € 2.4 billion annually, primarily in equipment renewals, starting with a total of € 1.6 billion in 2021.
Former Siemens opened its latest semiconductor factory in Europe last month in Villach, Austria. The factory mainly manufactures power chips for automobile customers.
Although “very likely” a “strong stage of semiconductor growth” will occur, Pros warned that the industry “will never stay at the growth momentum seen today.”[s]”.
The automotive industry accounts for about 8% of the total semiconductor market, but more than 40% of Infineon’s revenue.
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