General Motors (GM) has announced today that it has signed an exclusive chip supply deal with GlobalFoundries, which the automaker states is a critical step to produce its upcoming vehicles.
GM, like every automaker in the industry, was rattled over the past two years due to a worldwide chip shortage that left vehicles without standard features like heated seats, remote locking, radios, and more. Now, America’s largest automaker has ensured this issue doesn’t arise as easily in the future by establishing an exclusive chip supply deal with GlobalFoundries. The chips will come from GlobalFoundries’ newest facility in Upstate New York.
GlobalFoundries, headquartered in Malta, New York, has signed a “long-term agreement establishing a dedicated supply corridor exclusively for GM’s chip supply.” And for the automaker who expects its demand for chips to double in the next few years, this is precisely what it will need.
Along with fulfilling GM’s general chip needs, GlobalFoundries will be working with the automaker to cut down on the number of chip variants needed per vehicle, which the company states will result in higher chip production volumes, higher quality and predictability, and ultimately “maximize high-value content creation for the end customer.”
As witnessed by GM and Ford executives last year, a chip shortage creates the worst possible scenario for an automaker where vehicles are not only not ready to be sold to consumers, but they must sit in storage as they wait for fresh chip supply, adding yet another bottleneck to a system that has proven to be quite fragile.
While GM may be unique in announcing an exclusive chip deal for now, the consequences of the chip shortage make it very likely that other automakers will be looking to do the same in the near future. That is to say nothing of the work going on behind the scenes to accomplish similar goals as GM, reducing chip complexity and simplifying chip ordering to ensure maximized production.
Hopefully, America and its domestic brands like GM can serve as a template as the global car market looks to stabilize in the coming year. Thanks in large part to the Inflation Reduction Act’s aggressive investment into domestic chip manufacturing, U.S. automakers are likely well positioned for the upcoming demand for chips that will become increasingly necessary in electric vehicles. Though the same cannot be said for Asian and European brands, who are now scrambling and continuing to battle with supply shortages in their respective regions.
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