|Bid||16.30 x 0|
|Ask||16.31 x 0|
|Day's Range||16.02 - 16.78|
|52 Week Range||10.08 - 21.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.47|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||19.70|
|Earnings Date||Oct 27, 2021 - Nov 01, 2021|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.20 (1.09%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Sep 22, 2021|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- China is shaping up to be the first real test of Big Tech’s ambitions in the world of carmaking, with giants from Huawei Technologies Co. to Baidu Inc. plowing almost $19 billion into electric and self-driving vehicle ventures widely seen as the future of transport.While Apple Inc. has long had plans for its own car and Alphabet Inc. has Waymo, its autonomous driving unit, the size -- and speed -- of the move by China’s tech titans puts them at the vanguard of that broader push. The lure is an industry that’s becoming increasingly high tech as it pivots away from the combustion engine, with sensors and operating systems making cars more like computers, and the prospect of autonomy re-envisioning how people use will them.As the world’s biggest market for new-energy cars, China is a key battlefield. Established automakers like Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. are already slogging it out with local upstarts such as market darling Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. Over the past three months, Huawei, smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp., Baidu -- which runs China’s top search engine and a mapping app -- and even Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Foxconn have joined the fray, forging tie-ups and unveiling their own carmaking plans.Nowhere was that more on display than at last month’s Shanghai Auto Show, which has become one of the world’s premier events for showcasing the hottest new trends in the automotive sector. Visitors queued for hours to access the pavilions of Huawei and Baidu, thronging their displays and snapping pictures of sensor systems, high-tech dashboards and model vehicles. But despite the intense interest, the era of the new car is a hyper-competitive one in China, and tech giants have a lot to prove.“There’s a big element of faith in the tech companies’ bets,” said Stephen Dyer, managing director of consultancy AlixPartners in Shanghai and a former Ford Motor Co. executive. “This is a matter of creating something new that doesn’t exist now. That’s where the element of faith comes into play.”Huawei has been at the fore, recently announcing plans to invest $1 billion in EVs and its own self-driving technology, which it claims has “already surpassed” electric car pioneer Tesla Inc. in some aspects.The Shenzhen-based company, better known for its mobile-phone networks and being the subject of crippling U.S. sanctions, has unveiled its first car developed with BAIC BluePark Mew Energy Technology Co. The mid-sized Arcfox S sedan uses HI, or Huawei Inside, an intelligent automotive software package that enables it to run on autonomous driving mode in city areas for more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) without human intervention. Delivery is slated to start in the fourth quarter.Huawei’s auto show display attracted larger crowds than nearby China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd., an EV upstart that took one of the biggest stands to showcase nine models despite the fact it hasn’t sold a car under its own brand. As well as the Arcfox S sedan, a Seres SF5 coupe equipped with Huawei Inside was on display, along with Huawei’s HiFin Intelligent Antenna Solution, a new generation in-vehicle communication system plus 4D-imaging radar that’s used to monitor roads and traffic.One of the biggest challenges for new entrants to the automotive sector is how capital and resource intensive it is to make cars. How tech companies negotiate that will be key, and potentially provide opportunities for established players in the sector, with Huawei repeatedly saying its plan is not to produce its own vehicles. Rather, it’s partnering with three Chinese automakers -- BAIC Motor Corp., Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. -- to make self-driving cars that will carry its name as a sub-brand.Guangzhou Auto will jointly build a “truly unmanned car” that will be produced in 2024, President Feng Xingya said last month. The carmaker will also cooperate with Huawei on big data, smart cockpits, and hardware and electronic chips, Feng said.“China adds 30 million cars each year and the number is growing,” Huawei Deputy Chairman Eric Xu said in April. “Even if we don’t tap the market outside of China, if we can earn an average 10,000 yuan ($1,550) from each car sold in China, that’s already a very big business.”Apple appears to be considering a similar route, talking at one point with carmakers including Hyundai Motor Co. before discussions fizzled. Unlike China’s tech giants, Apple is keeping its plans largely secret. The company lost a key manager overseeing its self-driving car program in February and it’s unclear what impact that may have had on Apple’s progress on delivering a commercially viable car.The rise of smart vehicles and autonomous driving throws up a raft of possibilities for tech companies, not least access to data such as real-time insight into popular destinations and the routes taken to get there. On top of that, for some there’s the opportunity to charge for tech add-ons and system improvements, essentially treating the vehicle like a piece of computer hardware that constantly gets its software updated.“They will definitely focus on being intelligent,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consultancy Autoforesight Co. “Making a good electrified car is a ‘pass,’ while making a good intelligent car will make an ‘A-grade.’ That’s what these tech giants are good at. Their main revenue will not be from selling the car but finding other ways to earn post-sale, such as over-the-air system upgrades or software subscriptions.”Big Tech in China Is Eyeing EVs for a Reason: Hyperdrive DailyFirst MoversBaidu -- which started investing in robo-taxi technology as early as 2013 and funded Chinese EV startup WM Motors -- now plans to spend $7.7 billion over the next five years developing smart-car technology via its newly established unit Jidu Auto. The division aims to launch its first model in three years, followed by new releases every 12 to 18 months, Chief Executive Officer Xia Yiping said.“The core value of cars in the future will be how intelligent they are,” Xia said, echoing a familiar refrain. “The earlier a company plans, the more control of self-developed technologies it gains, the more advanced technology it has, the more power it will own in the market.”Jidu has a core team of about 100 staff, and will expand to as many as 3,000 personnel by the end of next year, including up to 500 software engineers, he said. The first batch of cars will be based on Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.’s pure EV manufacturing structure, while Jidu will collaborate with Baidu’s autonomous-driving unit Apollo, with a special focus on smart cars and the mass production of autonomous driving features. The unit will embark on its next fundraising round soon, with further investment expected from Baidu and external investors.Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has also announced plans to invest about $10 billion over the next decade to manufacture electric cars, though hasn’t disclosed much detail or given a timeframe for deliveries. Billionaire co-founder Lei Jun in March announced his intention to lead a new standalone division and spearhead the drive into EVs, in what he called his final major startup endeavor.“We have deep pockets for this project,” Lei, who is also Xiaomi’s chief executive officer, said when unveiling the plan. “I’m fully aware of the risks of the car-making industry. I’m also aware the project will take at least three-to-five years with tens of billions of investment.”While China’s tech giants may be late to the game and entering unfamiliar territory, that could play to their advantage, said Dyer of AlixPartners.“This isn’t an industry where you have to be the first-mover to win,” he said. “In fact, in the auto industry, the first mover typically never wins. It’s always the follower who wins. Because when you are the first mover, you’re the one paying to learn through all the mistakes.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. will invest $1 billion on researching self-driving and electric-car technologies, accelerating plans to compete with Tesla Inc. and Xiaomi Corp. in the world’s biggest vehicle arena.Huawei’s autonomous-driving technology has already surpassed Tesla’s in some spheres, for instance by allowing cars to cruise for more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) without human intervention, Rotating Chairman Eric Xu told analysts in Shenzhen Monday.The Chinese telecom giant will partner with three automakers initially to make self-driving cars that carry the Huawei name as a sub-brand, said Xu, one of three executives who take turns to fill the post. It will keep its circle of partners small and get its logo onto cars -- not unlike how Intel Corp. calls attention to its microprocessors on PCs -- that adopt its autonomous driving technology, he added. The mobile giant has so far agreed to team up with BAIC Group, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.“The smart car business unit receives one of the heaviest investments from Huawei. We will invest more than $1 billion in car component development this year,” Xu said. “China adds 30 million cars each year and the number is growing. Even if we don’t tap the market outside of China, if we can earn an average 10,000 yuan from each car sold in China, that’s already a very big business for Huawei.”Huawei is emerging from its toughest year on record, when Trump-administration sanctions smothered its once leading smartphone business and stymied advances into chipmaking and fifth-generation networking. The Biden White House has shown few signs of letting up, prompting billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei to direct Huawei toward new growth areas such as smart agriculture, health care and electric cars. It hopes for a seat at the table with tech giants vying to define the rapidly evolving fields of connected vehicles, homes and workplaces.Huawei aims to join tech giants from Apple Inc. to Xiaomi in targeting the vehicle industry, betting future cars will grow increasingly green, autonomous and connected. EV sales in China may climb more than 50% this year alone as consumers embrace cleaner automobiles and costs tumble, research firm Canalys estimates. Huawei’s info and entertainment features can already be found in Mercedes-Benz sedans and the firm has teamed up with domestic players such as BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co. to develop smart car systems. The first model under its partnership with the Chinese EV maker, the Arcfox αS HBT, will be unveiled at Auto Shanghai in April.“I don’t know if they were bragging, but my team said they can have cars driving on their own without human intervention for 1,000 kilometers. That’s way better than Tesla,” Xu said Monday.But Huawei’s piling into an already crowded arena, where an array of automakers from Tesla to local upstarts Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. are battling for a slice of the world’s biggest EV market. Xiaomi -- better known for its affordable gadgets and home appliances from rice cookers to robo-vacuums -- unveiled plans last month to invest about $10 billion over the next decade on manufacturing electric cars. Search giant Baidu Inc. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. are also said to be teaming up to build vehicles.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- More than a year after its outbreak, the coronavirus keeps finding new ways to hit carmakers.After first wiping out auto demand, the virus is now hindering parts supply: chips used in vehicles are harder to come by because semiconductor manufacturers allocated more capacity to meet soaring demand from consumer-electronics makers such as Apple Inc.The shortage risks dragging on, with lockdowns and travel restrictions prompting housebound consumers to snap up more phones, game consoles, smart TVs and laptops to get online. Lower down in importance to chipmakers, auto manufacturers from Toyota Motor Corp. to Volkswagen AG risk not getting enough goods to fuel a fledgling recovery in their own industry.“Customers can’t build because they can’t get parts,” Glen De Vos, chief technology officer of car-component supplier Aptiv Plc, said in an interview. “We’ve avoided a situation where we’re shutting down customers, but we’ve been impacted.”Semiconductor shortages may persist throughout the first half as chipmakers adjust their operations, researcher IHS Market predicted on Dec. 23. Automakers will start to see component supply gradually ease in the next two to three months, China Passenger Car Association, which groups the country’s largest carmakers, said Monday.Chipmakers favor consumer-electronics customers because their orders are larger than those of automakers -- the annual smartphone market alone is more than 1 billion devices, compared with fewer than 100 million cars. Automaking is also a lower-margin business, leaving manufacturers unwilling to bid up chip prices as they avoid risking their profitability.And while the newest cars require more chips, so do the latest consumer gadgets. Smartphones using so-called 5G connectivity require 40% more semiconductors than older 4G versions. Chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. reported record fourth-quarter revenue last week, with new 5G iPhones taking up a large chunk of capacity.The auto-chip shortage stems from overly conservative demand estimates made early last year as car plants closed to cope with the onset of the pandemic, De Vos said. Once the plants re-opened, vehicle sales rebounded more strongly than anticipated after governments unleashed stimulus packages and commuters avoided public transport.At the same time, foundries such as TSMC, United Microelectronics Corp. and Globalfoundries Inc. as well as chip assemblers like ASE Technology Holding Co. weren’t expanding fast enough to meet the pandemic-induced spike in demand for consumer gadgets. Those bottlenecks snarled the flow of chips not just to cars, but also in Xboxes and Playstations and even certain iPhones. The foundries are responsible for making a significant portion of the world’s semiconductors and serve automotive-chip companies such as NXP Semiconductors NV, Infineon Technologies AG and Renesas Electronics Corp.The Trump administration’s move to blacklist China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. in December drove customers to seek alternatives and further constrained the global chip supply. Some semiconductor buyers have also been building up inventories to hedge against future shortages or disruptions.“It’ll take some time,” De Vos said, “but we’re climbing out of it.”Auto-chip companies cut orders with Taiwanese foundries significantly in the first half of 2020 and when they wanted the capacity back in the second half, the contract chipmakers had allocated it to others, a person familiar with the matter said.General Motors Co. has asked for the Taiwanese government’s help to secure chip supply, and Taiwanese officials have helped to relay the request to foundries including TSMC, according to the person. The European Union has also approached Taiwanese officials about the same issue, the person said.There’s no guarantee such requests will yield results -- smartphone and gadget customers contribute more to foundries’ revenue and profit and are willing to shell out more.“Consumer-electronics companies are ready to pay more for chips to ensure their gadgets will get to market on time,” said Jeff Pu, an analyst at GF Securities. “Carmakers are less inclined to do so.”Meanwhile, it’s not simple to boost semiconductor supply. Chipmakers need to spend years and billions of dollars to build fabrication plants capable of cranking out silicon for a wide range of products. They tend to err on the side of conservative planning because of the risks involved -- and the enormous potential losses.At least one major automotive chip supplier is having a significant volume of its orders turned away by TSMC because of lack of capacity, according to a person familiar with the matter. There are no signs of the situation getting easier for carmakers, the person said. A TSMC spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the company will discuss automotive chips at its investor conference on Thursday.Such setbacks have left some carmakers with no option but to cut production.Toyota said Tuesday it’s partially halting production in China while Honda Motor Co. is reducing output at five factories across North America as it becomes harder to procure chips.Toyota, the world’s No. 2 automaker, said the impacted lines were at its factory in Guangzhou, in China’s south. The suspension could result in a cut in January’s output of as much as 30% depending on how long it drags on, the Nikkei reported earlier Tuesday, without attribution. Toyota jointly operates the site with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Toyota is additionally lowering output of a pickup made in Texas.Honda, which had to scale back output at its U.K. plant last week, said it will reduce manufacturing of the Accord, Civic and Insight sedans, as well as the Odyssey minivan and Acura RDX, a crossover sports-utility vehicle. The Japanese automaker is also reducing output by about 4,000 cars at a domestic factory, while Nissan Motor Co. is adjusting production of its Note hatchback.VW said last month it would have to change manufacturing plans. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is temporarily closing a Canadian plant and delaying the restart of output at a Mexican Jeep factory until the end of January.“The global semiconductor shortage is presenting challenges and production disruptions,” Ford Motor Co. said in an emailed statement. The carmaker is working to prioritize key vehicle lines, “making the most of our semiconductor allocation.” In North America, Ford is idling a SUV factory in KentuckyCarmakers’ predicament is exacerbated by the fact that chips are crucial for the latest features they are touting, be it assisted driving, large displays or connectivity. Semiconductor-based components are set to account for more than 50% of a car’s manufacturing cost by 2030, up from about 35% now, according to a report by China EV 100 and Roland Berger.“Chips are getting more important for the upcoming software-defined cars,” said Shi Ji, an analyst at Haitong International Securities Co. in Hong Kong. “They are essential to all cars, not just electric ones.”(Updates with detail on Toyota, Honda cuts in 19th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.