|Bid||780.00 x N/A|
|Ask||810.00 x N/A|
|Day's Range||780.00 - 782.00|
|52 Week Range||660.00 - 822.00|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.21|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||9.94|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||4.80 (0.60%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Automakers won control over a choice swath of wireless spectrum 20 years ago on the promise of delivering safety innovations to vehicles.Now, after failing to deliver widespread breakthroughs, they’re at risk of losing those frequencies to Comcast Corp. and other cable companies that say they can use them to offer robust Wi-Fi links to subscribers.The years-long struggle between the industries is nearing an inflection point, with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai signaling he may consider new uses for the airwaves. Pai could announce as early as Tuesday that he’ll schedule a vote to re-examine the allocation at the commission’s meeting next month.“The spectrum, for 22 years, has not reached its highest valued use, and that’s part of the reason why I think it’s important to have an open conversation,” Pai said at a Senate hearing last week. “I’m not saying what the answer should be, I’m simply saying let’s ask the questions that would enable us to have an informed conversation.”That conversation has already kicked off a flurry of activity by stakeholders. A team at Ford Motor Co. gave Pai a ride in a specially outfitted F-150 pickup truck earlier this month. The idea was to demonstrate the technology that could, for example, warn of a scooter’s approach or judge when it’s safe to enter an intersection.“Grateful to Ford for showing us a glimpse of the future,” Pai said in a tweet after his parking-lot spin. “It’s important to have an open conversation about the future of this band” of airwaves.Ford and other carmakers including BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corp., don’t want to lose the rights they gained in 1999 from the FCC for a system designed to link cars, roadside beacons and traffic lights into a seamless wireless communication web to avoid collisions and heed speed limits.Yet after nearly two decades, deployments have been few. An Obama administration proposal to mandate the technology in new cars has been left to languish under the deregulatory agenda pursued by President Donald Trump. General Motors Co. introduced the first factory-equipped model, a Cadillac sedan, just two years ago. And in April, Toyota scrapped plans to equip its cars with the systems starting in 2021.Now even automakers are moving away the original system, and see greater promise in a newer method based on cellular radios -- the system in the F-150 that Ford showed off for the FCC’s Pai. Ford plans to begin equipping all of its U.S. vehicles with the systems starting in 2022.That is an issue for carmakers as the 1999 allocation of airwaves by the FCC locked them into the system envisioned then. They need new rules to use a cellular system, which is backed by several companies including Ford, Audi AG and gear maker Qualcomm Inc.Ford, in a statement, said it is “critical” for the FCC to allow the newer, cellular-based method to use the airwaves because it will become the dominant technology to connect vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians.Cable providers have pounced, characterizing the currently mandated system as fostering “two decades of stagnation.”They’ve called for ending carmakers’ exclusive rights to the frequencies at 5.9 GHz and allocating all or most of the band to the Wi-Fi systems that carry web traffic for most cable customers.Some consumer groups agree. They include the Consumer Federation of America, the American Library Association, Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute at New America.“The best outcome for consumers is to move vehicle safety signaling to a different set of frequencies and allow next generation Wi-Fi to use 5.9 GHz,” Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Project at the Open Technology Institute, said in an email.Pai controls the FCC’s agenda, and his impatience ushers in a moment of promise -- and peril.“We could maintain the status quo” but “I am quite skeptical that this is a good idea,” Pai said in a speech last month to a gathering that celebrated the Wi-Fi signals used for connections in hotel lobbies, coffee shops and homes.Pai said it would take a formal rulemaking to allow greater Wi-Fi use of the swath, or to let automakers exploit the band for the cellular safety system.Skepticism has arisen within the Trump administration. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao telephoned Pai to urge the FCC not to use its June meeting to commence its consideration of the airwaves, according to one official briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation wasn’t public.While Transportation Department officials haven’t advanced the previous administration’s proposed mandate, they want autos to hold onto the airwaves.“Preserving the spectrum for transportation safety, which can save lives, is probably more important than slightly faster Wi-Fi,” Derek Kan, the Transportation Department’s undersecretary for policy, said in an interview June 3.To contact the reporters on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ryan Beene in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth Wasserman, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Sidelined for now in the global economy, deflation is having a second act in the Gulf.Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where the International Monetary Fund expected consumer prices to shrink this year, is almost certain to have company from its neighbors. Qatar has seen annual price declines for nine straight months, and the United Arab Emirates is likely to be in deflation throughout this year.The deflationary momentum began in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. because the introduction of value-added tax in 2018 created a high base for comparison. But what’s kept it going is a prolonged slump in housing costs that’s now putting broader price growth into negative territory.The price swoon is a reflection of weaker demand that’s hobbled Gulf economies. Constrained by their currency pegs, authorities have instead relied on fiscal stimulus to nudge growth, with Saudi Arabia earmarking billions to support the private sector.From a property oversupply in Dubai to an exodus of foreigners from Saudi Arabia, the backdrop is showing little improvement across the Gulf. Rental prices remain under pressure despite the implementation of measures such as an easing of fees that businesses pay on expat workers in Saudi Arabia and the granting of long-term U.A.E. visas.It’s “natural for these steps to take time to have an impact,” Mohamed Bardastani, senior economist at Oxford Economics, said by phone. The consultancy recently changed this year’s inflation forecast for the U.A.E. to minus 1% from 0.9%.Besides the housing doldrums, however, other factors are increasingly in play. Discounting by companies, a weak jobs market and meager wage gains are all depressing prices. Despite a pickup last year, economic growth has yet to rebound to levels seen before the oil crash in 2014.Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar, and central banks in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.A.E. don’t target inflation. So while dollar strength has played significant role in depressing prices, there are few implications for policy.In Saudi Arabia, “deflationary risks are forecast to persist due to relatively subdued economic activity, pressure on expat labor following labor market reforms, and the introduction of new housing supply in the kingdom,” Bank Audi economists led by Marwan Barakat said in a report.Deflation has been more shallow in Qatar than among its Gulf neighbors, which have led a campaign since 2017 to keep an embargo on the gas-rich nation. Qatari housing prices have stabilized after several years of declines“Qatar is less deflationary,” said Rory Fyfe, managing director and chief economist at MENA Advisors in London. “The housing market is on a different cycle. It has now bottomed out.”In contrast to the past experience of some developed economies such as Japan, deflation in the Gulf is more confined to particular sectors.Still, the extent of the deflation is a surprise. Prior to this year, the U.A.E. last had annual price declines in 2011. Even if the lower cost of Emirati housing and utilities is excluded, price growth would still be negative, according to Oxford Economics.“We expect deflation to persist through 2019” in the U.A.E., Bardastani said in a report. “The real estate market is not expected to recover significantly, given continued strong supply growth and sluggish demand as a result of the weak job market.”To contact the reporter on this story: Abeer Abu Omar in Dubai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Abelsky, Lin NoueihedFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG ended a self-driving technology partnership with Silicon Valley startup Aurora Innovation Inc. as it draws closer to a broader collaboration on autonomous cars with Ford Motor Co.“The activities under our partnership have been concluded,” a VW spokesman said of its alliance with Aurora in a statement Tuesday. The German manufacturer announced the tie-up with Aurora to develop autonomous-car technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year to help boost its own activities spearheaded by the Audi premium-car unit.Meanwhile, months of negotiations with Ford and its autonomous affiliate Argo AI are near fruition and a deal could be announced as early as July, people familiar with the situation said. Most of the thorniest issues have been resolved and the two companies envision a comprehensive collaboration creating a global colossus in the self-driving space, these people said. The partnership would rival Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo and General Motors Co.’s Cruise unit in ambition and scope, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified revealing internal discussions.Self-driving cars have emerged as key battleground between automakers and technology giants in the race to develop robo-taxis and driverless delivery vehicles. These programs require investments in the billions of dollars, while regulatory frameworks vary across the globe, complicating testing and deployment. Huge SumsA payoff for the huge sums that need to be spent is difficult to predict as a broader rollout in the passenger-car space might take years longer than initially anticipated. Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett has said autonomous cars and other emerging mobility services could grow to a $10 trillion market.Volkswagen and Ford, which agreed to co-produce vans and pickups earlier this year, have been discussing an investment in Argo AI, the Ford-backed autonomous vehicle startup, people familiar with the talks have said. The automakers discussed an approximate valuation for Argo of $4 billion, one of the people said.Ford said its talks with Volkswagen are ongoing but did not provide specifics on the extent of progress. “Discussions have been productive across a number of areas. We’ll share updates as details become more firm,” it said in a statement. VW declined to comment on the status of the talks.Aurora, which raised over half a billion dollars in February from backers including Sequoia Capital and Amazon.com Inc., announced on Monday it will partner with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to develop and deploy a fleet of self-driving commercial vehicles. The company is the brainchild of Sterling Anderson, the former director of autonomy for Tesla Inc.; Drew Bagnell from Uber Technologies Inc.; and Chris Urmson, who headed Alphabet’s self-driving car project before it was named Waymo.“Volkswagen Group has been a wonderful partner to Aurora since the early days of development of the Aurora Driver,” Aurora said in a statement. “As the Driver matures and our platform grows in strength, we continue to work with a growing array of partners who complement our expertise and expand the reach of our product.”Strategic FitVolkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, and U.S. peer Ford announced their cooperation on light commercial vehicles in January. Officials from both sides, including VW CEO Herbert Diess and Ford Chairman Bill Ford, have stressed the strategic fit between the two manufacturers.“We fit together geographically really well, product line-wise, we fit together well,” Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, said at a conference in Houston in March. “We both came to the same realization that as big as our balance sheets are, no company can do this alone.”\--With assistance from Dana Hull.To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at email@example.com;Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Miller at email@example.com, Chester DawsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday said its voice-controlled assistant will feature in local vehicles from Audi AG, Renault SA and Honda Motor Co Ltd, as the tech giant expands in artificial intelligence. The Tmall Genie Auto smart speaker will allow drivers to use voice commands to, for instance, place orders on Alibaba's online retail platform and buy movie tickets, Alibaba said at the CES Asia 2019 technology trade show in Shanghai. In the near future, the speaker will also allow drivers to monitor and control smart devices at houses equipped with a Tmall Genie-compatible device, Alibaba said in a joint statement with the three automakers, without specifying vehicle models.
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While the public is asking, "When are we going to ride in autonomous cars?,"technology companies have been moving apace to test them on designated roads
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The biggest threat to Volkswagen's 2019 profit is potential tariffs from the United States, Chief Executive Herbert Diess told the Financial Times. "It's becoming tense once again," Diess told the FT. Analysts at London-based Evercore ISI said tariffs could cost Volkswagen 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) a year, about 13 percent of expected earnings.
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Electric carmaker Tesla Inc said http://bit.ly/2NCbs1r orders for cars placed by Oct. 15 will be eligible for a full federal tax credit of $7,500 and these customers will get their cars delivered by the end of the year. Under a major tax overhaul passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress late last year, incentives in the way of tax credits that lower the cost of electric vehicles are available for the first 200,000 such vehicles sold by an automaker. The tax credit is then reduced by 50 percent every six months until it phases out.
Oct.08 -- While you were busy reading Elon Musk’s tweets, Audi AG was unveiling its Tesla challenger, the E-tron. One of the most interesting bits of the glitzy launch concerned simply plugging the thing in: The carmaker, it turns out, has teamed up with Amazon.com Inc. to install home chargers for E-tron buyers. Bloomberg NEF analyst Nat Bullard has more on "Bloomberg Technology."