Electromobility drives Infineon’s sales – but not so much in Germany

May 04, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The quarterly figures of chipmaker Infineon were slightly better than expected. Sales to automotive customers grew faster than average. For the future, the trend towards electromobility is expected to further lift sales of related power semiconductors – but not in all geographies. Germany’s subsidies for e-cars won’t have much effort, said Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss.

With total sales of €1,611 billion euros (about $1,85 billion), the company achieved an overall growth of 4% sequentially and 9% year-on-year. The automotive business unit outgrew the rest of the company. With sales of €670 million, it accounted for 42% of the total revenue. Thus, automotive is now by far Infineon’s largest segment – Power and Multimarket accounted for 31% of sales, Industrial Power Control for 16% and Chipcard & Security for 11%. The strong growth in the automotive segment reflects high demand for cars in Infineon’s main markets Europe, North America and China.


Driving forces in automotive electronics are advanced driver assistance systems and, resulting from the further development of such systems, technologies that eventually will enable automated driving, said Ploss during a conference Call. The same holds true for electromobility including charging infrastructure. In this fast-growing segment, Infineon has already received “several important orders”, Ploss explained. While for the future the company expects conditions that make electromobility more attractive in most countries, he only had lukewarm words for Germany’s recently adopted governmental subsidiaries for buyers of e-cars and (P)HEVs. “Yes, the subsidies will deliver a contribution to our revenues, but only a fairly moderate one”, he said. In China’s megacities with its environmental problems and constant traffic congestions, electromobility will grow much faster. “Germany is not the most coveted market for electromobility,” Ploss said. China, where the traffic problems have yielded a situation in customers not only have to buy and pay for the cars, but also the number plates are auctioned, electric driving is regarded much more as a solution to solve the environmental problems. In addition, the Chinese automotive industry has shifted its focus from internal combustion engine to electromobility because the insight has gained acceptance that in this market the local industry has much better chances to achieve a globally leading position, Ploss said.


Challenges for Infineon in the past quarter were