The two companies announced a non-binding agreement that could involve increasing production capacity for Ford’s current lineup and performing joint research and development on several categories of chips that are likely to be key to future cars, such as battery-management systems and self-driving systems.
Over the past year, a global chip shortage has caused Ford and other automakers to curtail vehicle production. Most companies have directed the chips they receive to their most profitable vehicles. That has led automakers to explore ways to boost access to chips.
Majority owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, GlobalFoundries (GFS) became publicly traded this year when it sold a stake in its business in a $26 billion initial public offering. The company has said that some of the $2.6 billion raised in the deal will go toward building a second chip factory at a site in Malta, New York.
Ford (F) and GlobalFoundries did not disclose any terms of the deal or say whether Ford was providing funding or other commitments to reserve capacity at any of GlobalFoundries’ current or future factories. The two said only that the “strategic collaboration” does not involve any cross-ownership between the companies.
“We hope Ford and GlobalFoundries will team up to grow the supply in a more formal way to support our current vehicle lineup and our future needs,” Ford Vice President Chuck Gray said in an interview.