In May 2022, French Renault factories were forced to technical unemployment. Its competitor Stellantis was experiencing comparable setbacks in the following months – and even again in 2023. In both cases, the factor was the same: semiconductor shortage.
These components are essential today in vehicles. It is therefore strategic for manufacturers to secure their supplies. This is the policy that Stellantis is currently pursuing, owner in particular of the Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel and Peugeot brands.
Stellantis is preparing its own production of components
The manufacturer announces that it has concluded various agreements directly with semiconductor suppliers. In total, it has signed orders until 2030 for a value of more than 10 billion euros.
“Semiconductors play a key role in vehicles, the real driving force behind Stellantis’ transformation into a sustainable mobility tech company, as defined in the Dare Forward 2030 plan,” justifies the manufacturer.
These supply contracts relate to different products. They include silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, “essential components for the autonomy of electric vehicles”, details the company.
His commands also cover microcontrollers (MCUs), necessary in the electrical architecture of his STLA Brain technology, and finally System-on-a-chip or SoC. These components are used in the manufacture of high-performance computing units, useful for infotainment systems and driver assistance functions.
To supply itself with semiconductors, Stellantis relies on several strategic partners, including Infineon, NXP, onsemi and Qualcomm. But the manufacturer is also preparing to reduce its dependence by developing its own components. In this perspective, Stellantis “is also working with AImotive and SiliconAuto.”
Database, green list and demand prediction
Preventing production stoppages is based on a supply policy, but also on a better forecast of the needs in terms of electronic chips. This is what the company emphasizes.
Stellantis thus claims a multidimensional strategy. To run it, he equips himself with a semiconductor database. This must “ensure total transparency on the availability of microchips.”
The manufacturer also relies on “a systematic risk assessment in order to avoid and proactively eliminate obsolete components” and therefore a forecast of the long-term demand for chips.
Stellantis also announces the creation and implementation of a green list. The purpose of this list is to reduce the diversity of semiconductors. Finally, in the event of a shortage of electronic chips, Stellantis will take control of the allocation of components.
“Several hundred very different semiconductors are integrated into our cars. We have designed a complete ecosystem to limit the risk that a single missing chip could bring our lines to a standstill,” says Maxime Picat, Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer.