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Chipmakers to Automakers: Share the Cost

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Aug. 4, 2022—Chip makers are pointing the finger at automakers for their lack of understanding of how chips are manufactured and supplied and their unwillingness to share the cost. 

One estimate by AutoForecast Solutions stated that the recent chip crisis cut 13 million vehicles from global production since the start of 2021.

As automakers like General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Ford Motor, Nissan, and others are seeking to negotiate with chip manufacturers, one executive, C.C. Wei, CEO of the world's biggest chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, said auto executives have been courting him now that times are desperate.

Wei, who said he never received a call from an auto industry executive prior to the shortage, told Reuters, "In the past two years they call me and behave like my best friend. One automaker called to urgently request 25 wafers,” said Wei, who is used to fielding orders for 25,000 wafers. "No wonder you cannot get the support."

Other chip makers, like SkyWater Technology, Synaptics, and Japan's Renesas Electronics, and Dutch NXP Semiconductors are all working to offer solutions. 

The average semiconductor content per vehicle will exceed $1,000 by 2026, says one expert. 

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