As consumers demand more innovative, high-tech products, we’re in the middle of a worldwide chips-demand boom, according to Gordon Sylvester, CEO of FPL Global.
“Our industry is growing,” said Sylvester, who held a press conference on Monday with Patrick Salyer, President of the AuthenTec Division of Intel Corporation, as well as an economist who predicted that U.S. employment for electronic chips will surpass manufacturing this year.
“Advanced manufacturing technology is transforming the industry, and jobs in the field are needed,” Sylvester added.
“We want to reassure our consumers that America has the capacity to meet our expanding market,” said Salyer.
Sylvester’s statement reflected Ford’s own analysis of the market.
“Although we enjoy leading margins and are working to reinforce our leadership in the global auto industry, Ford has recently recognized the need to ensure that those superior margins benefit the consumer,” said Ford spokesman Jeff Bond.
So far, Ford has created a joint company, FPL Global Corporation, with Arqule, Inc., and Arqule Corp. All three companies have strong technical expertise and global global reach, combining to produce chips for industrial applications.
Ford and Arqule were successful in securing commitments from major chip companies to produce chips based on global technologies.
“Ford gained access to more than 120 leading-edge chips being developed by leading chip companies including Intel, SMI, TriQuint, Motron and Hisense,” said Ben Malinowski, Ford’s vice president for corporate communications.
Still, Ford is aware that its no longer the only game in town. Its rivals for the No. 1 spot include Nissan, which established a joint venture with Kyocera, and Toyota, which invested in Saipem, a leading Italian semiconductor company.
Meanwhile, Ford’s competitor, Volkswagen, is investing an estimated $37 billion to create a new assembly line that will churn out 500,000 vehicles a year.
To remain competitive, Ford has expanded its entire line of Smart cars to one million units by 2020.
Ford is also hoping to produce a range of fuel-efficient electric vehicles. All of these products are the result of its sale of AA Semiconductor for $11.9 billion.
Finn and Kaur are investigative reporters for the Investigative News Network. This material is not reprinted with permission.