Chery was speaking on a French business channel a week after he announced strong sales results for the company.

“We see this in a positive way. It will lead to competition in advanced technologies in Europe,” Chery said, but added: “If it is on advanced technologies, there is no reason to to be part. It is marginal in our activity.”

Chery said the desire of European Union politician’s to create a semiconductor alliance, to boost European chip manufacturing to 20 percent of the global total was laudable.

“We welcome the industrial strategy update released by the European Commissioner Thierry Breton and Executive Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, and the recognition of the key role played by the semiconductor industry within this strategy,” said the company in a statement, “We can make the European semiconductor industry even stronger by leveraging our ecosystem and establishing further cooperation among incumbents in line with the initiatives launched by the European Commission.”

“ST will continue to be a key contributor in increasing the volume of European semiconductor production, in line with our Integrated Device Manufacturer model and organic growth strategy,” it said.

The obvious candidates for the semiconductor alliance are STMicroelectronics, Infineon, NXP, ASML plus research institutes such as IMEC, Leti and Fraunhofer. But just as they did back in 2013 and 2014 when European Commissioner Neelie Kroes proposed an ‘Airbus of chips’ Europe’s technical companies have said they are not interested in trying to compete at the leading-edge where they have already outsourced their manufacturing to foundries. At the same time they have asked for more financial support for the sensor, power and embedded ICs they want to make.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that inward investor Intel is Europe’s best chance of pushing local chip manufacturing closer to the leading-edge, which is now dominated by Samsung and TSMC.

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