Climax of a historic crisis
That the success of globally active semiconductor companies is strongly influenced by economic cycles was a lesson, that the Villach team has already learned during their days in Tafernerstraße . Until the 2000s, recessions in the semiconductor market were either due to a general economic downturn, overcapacities or inventory corrections at customers. In the new millennium, however, these three factors came together to cause the worst semiconductor recession ever.
From 2000 to 2001, the global semiconductor market saw sales decline by more than 20%, and new product development also slowed significantly. While 11,000 new ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) designs were developed worldwide in 1997, only 5,000 were developed in 2001.
In 2002, the crisis reached its peak and Infineon was not left unscathed. The entire group generated significant losses and the share price fell below €5 (initial issue price: 35 €). The crisis also hit the employees in Austria hard: In total, about 200 employees had to leave the company during these three years.