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The multitrillion-dollar global automotive industry is changing, but not the way you might expect. Here’s how that change is unfolding.
The car companies of the world are no doubt changing with the times, but that evolution is unfolding from within.
Over the past few years, Alphabet's Waymo, GM's Cruise, Argo AI, Intel's Mobileye, and Tesla have pushed forward in the autonomous-mobility business.
The GM-backed robo-taxi startup Cruise Automation is reportedly struggling to refine its self-driving car technology
Cruise Automation is reportedly facing technological issues as it seeks to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service by the end of this year.
GM and Honda are joining forces on self-driving cars with a $750 million Honda investment making GM Cruise worth $14.6 billion
GM will join with Honda to develop a "purpose-built autonomous vehicle" for Cruise, GM's self-driving division. Honda will invest $2 billion over 12 years, with an additional $750 million invested in Cruise. Honda's equity investment raises Cruise's valuation to $14.6 billion.
GM’s $2 billion deal with a Japanese tech giant may give the automaker a big advantage in the race to develop self-driving cars
The deal has given GM equity value that it can use to attract new talent. Cruise has grown dramatically since GM bought it in 2016; what started as a 40-employee startup now has 800 people working it. GM President Dan Ammann said that another leg of significant growth is on the way.
GM’s self-driving car unit could be worth $43 billion — nearly 4 times the valuation it received 6 weeks ago, RBC says
Cruise has been growing at a quick pace ever since GM acquired the San Francisco startup and its 50 employees for $581 million. GM hopes to increase Cruise's headcount to 1,648 in California by 2021 thanks to a tax credit package worth $8 million approved by state officials last year.
GM is realigning its top leadership to take Cadillac to the next level and to expand its Cruise self-driving business
Cadillac will now be overseen directly by product czar Mark Reuss, while Ammann focuses on Cruise commercialization in 2019 and an ongoing $2.25-billion investment in Cruise from Japan's SoftBank.
GM is reportedly thinking about spinning off its Cruise self-driving division. For several years, GM share values have frustrated investors who think that a company banking over $70 billion in profits since its own 2010 IPO should be worth more.
The SoftBank investment will involve two phases: a $900 million initial funding followed by a $1.35 billion round. Ultimately, SoftBack will take a nearly 20% equity share in Cruise, which has been operating as a stand-alone GM unit.
Tesla's position in electric cars is strong, but its challenges with autonomy are becoming more pressing. And now it's starting to look like Tesla may not have a strong business model for its autonomous technology.