LONDON, UK: England According to Semicast Research, Infineon Technologies could pass Freescale to become the largest supplier of automotive semiconductors for the first time in 2009.
Semiconductor revenues in the automotive sector hit the skids last year, with Semicast estimating an annual decline of approximately 5 percent to $19.1 billion in 2008, from $20.0 billion in 2007.
Auto sales have gone into reverse recently as consumers have chosen to defer new car purchases, leaving Chrysler and GM receiving government funding and even Toyota making a loss. With car manufacturing plants on extended shutdown and consumer confidence still low, a further fall in sales in 2009 now looks certain.
Semicast’s analysis shows Freescale and Infineon as joint largest semiconductor supplier to the automotive sector in 2008, each with an estimated market share of 9.1 percent. Freescale comes out as the supplier most impacted by the automotive slowdown over recent months, losing almost a whole percentage point of share, while Infineon, which has benefited from a strong Euro, has held steady.
STMicroelectronics is judged to have remained third largest supplier, with NXP Semiconductor and Bosch, who both also benefited from a strong Euro, moving up the rankings.
Colin Barnden, Principal Analyst at Semicast Research, commented: “Few semiconductor suppliers will view themselves as winners in the automotive market in 2009. Those who perform best are likely to be those who do less badly than their competitors, or are simply luckier.”