Freescale Semiconductor is not about to relinquish its No. 1 ranking as a producer of automotive semiconductors without a fight.
The U.S. supplier says it is not yet looking over its shoulder, despite aggressive talk from chief competitor Infineon Technologies of Germany.
Last month, Peter Bauer, head of Infineon's automotive, industrial and multimarket business group, told Automobilwoche, Automotive News' sister publication, that Infineon aims to overtake its rival.
How does Infineon plan to overtake Freescale? With strong system expertise, a broad product line and a zero-defect approach, Bauer said.
Freescale (freescale.com), of Austin, Texas, was created in 2004 when Motorola Inc. (motorola.com) spun off its semiconductor products sector.
The company has a 12 percent share of the global automotive semiconductor business, said Stephan Lehmann, Freescale's global automotive strategic marketing manager.
"They can plan to be No. 1 as long as they want to," said Ross McOuat, Freescale's automotive marketing director of microcontrollers. Microcontrollers are tiny computers on a single silicon chip.
"They have a couple of market spaces where they have some specific capabilities, so we have a respect for them," McOuat said. "But I relish a fight. It's good to be No.1, but it's tough."
Freescale, which became a publicly traded company in July 2004, had sales of $5.71 billion during 2004.
Its semiconductors can be found in a variety of automotive applications, including airbag systems, engine management, antilock brakes, and traction and stability control systems.
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