The global automotive industry has been badly affected by the ongoing semiconductor shortage, with several companies being forced to halt manufacturing and cut production targets in different markets.
American carmaker Ford has also been hit by the crisis, but it is now taking matters into its own hands as it attempts to boost auto chip supply for its brand and the industry as a whole. It has now signed a non-binding agreement with GlobalFoundries (GF), a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing.
The collaboration specifically seeks to advance both manufacturing and technology development of semiconductors in the US. It also allows joint research and development between Ford and GF to address the demand for feature-rich chips used for advanced driver-assistance systems, battery-management systems, and in-vehicle networking.
“It’s critical that we create new ways of working with suppliers to give Ford—and America—greater independence in delivering the technologies and features our customers will most value in the future,” said Ford president and CEO Jim Farley. “This agreement is just the beginning, and a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key technologies and capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future.”
“GF is committed to building innovative alliances with the world’s leading companies to enable the features in products that are pervasive throughout people’s lives,” said GF CEO Tom Caulfield. “Our agreement with Ford is a key step forward in strengthening our cooperation and partnership with automakers to spur innovation, bring new features to market faster, and ensure long-term, supply-demand balance.”
The partnership does not include cross-ownership between the two organizations, but it does leverage on both companies’ strengths to regain supply-demand balance for auto chips and to accelerate technological innovation for the industry.