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Automotive: Spanish production increases and changes strategy on chips

Spain is the second largest automobile producer in Europe. The leading automotive companies worldwide have 17 manufacturing plants in Spain, which are among the most efficient and automated in Europe, with 1 industrial robot for every 10 employees.
Despite the complicated economic situation for the automotive industry worldwide, the production of cars in Spain grew by 8.3% in July and by 65.6% in August, for a total of 264.175 units. 

The leadership of Stellantis

These data, collected by the Spanish Manufacturers Association (Anfac), have allowed the sector to almost equal the production levels of the same period in 2021.
In particular, the figures of 2022 have decreed Stellantis as a leader in the automotive market (passenger cars and commercial vehicles), with 231,790 registrations of its brands marketed in Spain. Stellantis also represents a point of reference in the Spanish electric vehicle market, with 19,660 units registered, which places it in first place in the ranking, with a share of 23.6%.

The chip shortage

Despite the good results, Anfac stressed in a statement that the sector continues to have problems with the supply of microchips, alluding to the latest production shutdowns announced by several Spanish factories such as the aforementioned Stellantis, Renault and Volkswagen.
With the advent of the EU Chips Act, which aims to reduce the EU’s vulnerability and dependencies on foreign actors, European governments are called to give a strong response to safeguard the competitiveness of their key sectors. 

The Spanish project

In this context, the Spanish government has decided to focus on less sophisticated chips, but potentially more useful for its economy, especially for the automotive sector. The Spanish investment, worth 12.3 billion euros, aims to produce semiconductors between 10 and 28 nanometers, which are simpler and cheaper to produce than those smaller than 5 nm.
This production would make it possible to supply the national automotive industry, guaranteeing the business continuity essential to defend the silver medal within the EU. 

Apparently this choice might seem like a step backwards; it is actually a forward-looking project, designed to enhance the microelectronics and semiconductors sector and, consequently, all the industries directly involved in the success of chip production.


Read also: The potential of the Spanish chemical industry for the success of the national economy
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