The ongoing semiconductor crisis may soon be eased after Bosch opened a new factory to produce the much-talked-about chips.
The Dresden-based plant cost around £860m and is set to create around 700 jobs.
It is hoped the new site will go some way towards ending the worldwide shortage that has rocked the automotive industry.
Bosch’s new facility is expected to start producing semiconductors for its power tools this July.
It will then begin creating chips for automotive customers in September.
The current situation has caused enormous lead times on new vehicles as manufacturers suffer setbacks in production while awaiting fresh deliveries of semiconductors.
A recent survey found that some customers are now willing to downgrade spec as a result.
🎉Today we officially opened our new 300-millimeter #waferfab in Dresden, Germany. “With our first #AIoT factory, we are setting new standards in chip production,” said Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner. Learn more: https://t.co/ZkcwvG9NLA #semiconductors #BoschSiliconDay pic.twitter.com/V5EbcyY5sg
— BoschGlobal (@BoschGlobal) June 7, 2021
Harald Kroeger, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, said: ‘Chips for vehicles are the ultimate discipline in semiconductor technology.
‘This is because in cars, these small building blocks have to be especially robust.
‘Semiconductors are the building blocks of progress.
‘Electronic components equipped with chips from Dresden will make applications such as automated and resource-conserving driving possible, as well as the best possible occupant protection.’
The chips help to control infotainment systems and mains screens as well as power steering and brake sensors.
Kroeger added that chips used in vehicles needed to be robust as they are often exposed to ‘strong vibrations and extreme temperatures that range from far below freezing to far above the boiling point of water’.
The worldwide shortage has resulted in increased demand for used cars.
The boom has seen prices shoot up and dealers cannot see the situation changing any time soon.
Last month, Stuart Foulds, chairman and chief executive of TrustFord, told Car Dealer that he expected prices to stay high until early 2022.
He said: ‘I think used prices will continue to rise and in these unprecedented times my view is that this will be the case for the balance of the year and into early 2022.’