In the light of statistics showing that show that today most innovations in the automotive industry come from the semiconductor and the software industry, it seems likely that the working relationship between semiconductor vendors and automotive OEMs is changing. Definitively yes, Sievers said. “Clearly, a large part – not everything – of automotive innovation is driven now by electronics, and of course in electronics, semiconductors call the tune.” He however pointed out that software is equally important. And therefore, it is necessary that chipmakers have a very tight collaboration with the software industry. The relationship between chipmakers and carmakers is currently becoming more intensive, Sievers acknowledged. “You read the announcements that OEMs are entering strategic collaborations with semiconductor providers. It is no coincidence that we see this happen now. It is the result of the innovation power of the semiconductor industry,” he said.
Nevertheless, he continued, it is important to understand that the car is – and will remain – a mechanical being in the first place, “with wheels and suspension and steering and thus subject to the physics of driving.” Nevertheless, the innovation process in the automotive industry is somewhat tilting towards the side of electronics. Therefore, the semiconductor industry is getting a different weight. “We observe that many OEMs throughout the world actively engaging with semiconductor manufacturers – they seek a tighter relationship with us. For us this is good, because we get much better insights into the necessities and challenges of car building.”