Automotive company Stellantis struck purchasing agreements worth €10 billion covering the period to 2030 to ensure the flow of semiconductors for electric vehicles, as well as beginning discussions with chip giants including Qualcomm to develop new technologies.
Netherlands-based Stellantis explained it had made the investment in semiconductors as part of a multi-faceted strategy to manage and secure the long-term supply of vital microchips.
The company was formed through a merger of Italy-based Fiat Chrysler and French company PSA Group, and comprises 14 automotive brands and a pair of mobility arms.
Stellantis’ semiconductor strategy involves implementing a database to provide full transparency on the chips it uses in automotive; removing legacy parts; purchasing mission-critical chips; and ensuring it is in control of allocation in case of future shortages.
The €10 billion investment covers a variety of microchips including system-on-a-chip (SoC) for vehicle infotainment driving assist functions.
Maxime Picat, chief purchasing and supply chains officer at Stellantis, stated it had hundreds of different semiconductors in its cars and had “built a comprehensive ecosystem to mitigate the risk that one missing chip can stop our lines”.
Stellantis is engaging with Qualcomm, NXP Semiconductors and Infineon to improve its car platforms and technologies.
The discussions build on an agreement with Hoi Han Precision (Foxconn) in 2021 to develop digital car cockpits, intended to cut the time taken to launch advanced in-vehicle and connected car technologies.
The automotive industry was one of the hardest-hit by a shortage of semiconductors due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, impacting vehicle production.