|Bid||0.00 x N/A|
|Ask||0.00 x N/A|
|Day's Range||790.00 - 796.00|
|52 Week Range||660.00 - 822.00|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.16|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||10.12|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||4.80 (0.60%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. will cooperate on electric and self-driving car technology, sharing costs on a global scale to take a major step forward in the industry’s disruptive transformation.VW will invest $2.6 billion in Ford’s autonomous-car partner Argo AI in a deal that values the operation at more than $7 billion, the two manufacturers said Friday in a joint statement in New York, confirming a figure first reported by Bloomberg. This includes $1 billion in funding and VW contributing its Audi $1.6 billion Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit.“While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach,” Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said.Ford shares climbed as much as 2.1% as of 9:40 a.m. Friday in New York. VW’s preferred stock was up 1.6% in Frankfurt.Unprecedented shifts facing the auto industry are forcing players to consider new partnerships and potential consolidation. VW, the world’s top automaker, offers the industry’s most ambitious roll-out of electric models, while Ford, also in the top 10, is developing advanced self-driving technology with Argo.For VW, the Argo investment offers an opportunity to potentially catch up with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, and General Motors Co.’s Cruise unit. Road tests and accumulating huge amounts of data are critical for the further development of self-driving cars, and few apart from Waymo are equipped to do it alone.“It took a while to get this deal done, but it’s because we actually sorted out a lot of the hard problems,” Bryan Salesky, Argo AI’s co-founder and CEO, said in an interview. “We have a clear line of sight to production, vehicle supply and we have clear line of sight to where we want to go to market and how.”Besides sharing costs for the development of self-driving cars, Ford will use VW’s electric-car underpinnings that form to backbone of the most aggressive rollout of electric cars in the industry with Volkswagen spending some 30 billion euros ($34 billion). Adding more vehicles to production lines would help gain scale and save costs, and offer Ford a platform to better comply with tougher rules on carbon-dioxide emissions in Europe.Ford will build at least one mass-market battery car in Europe starting in 2023 and deliver more than 600,000 European vehicles based on VW’s platform, dubbed MEB, over six years. A second electric model for Europe is under discussion.Teaming up with its U.S. peer is one of the key initiatives of VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess to overhaul the German industrial giant. Both sides reiterated on Friday the tie-up does not include entering equity ties between Ford and VW.For Ford, a deal with VW fits with CEO Jim Hackett’s $11 billion overhaul of the company, which includes exiting the slow-selling sedan market in the U.S., shifting to focus on commercial vehicles in Europe and investing in electric-truck startup Rivian Automotive Inc. Geographically, the companies complement each other, with Ford strong in the U.S. and VW a leader in Europe and China.“Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise , and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate,” VW CEO Diess said.(Updates with shares trading in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Chester DawsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at...
(Bloomberg) -- If you want to know what your car might be like in 2030, and which brands—automotive or otherwise—may be the ones to make it, go watch a Formula E race.The single-seater racing series, now in its fifth season, is like Formula 1—with open-cockpit cars powered by electricity, rather than gas. The next E-Prix will take place on July 13 and 14 in Red Hook in Brooklyn, N.Y. It’s the site of the final two races of the season and the only one this year set in U.S. shores.And it’s a big deal. Audi, BWM, Mercedes-Benz, Mahindra, NIO, Nissan, Virgin, Jaguar, and Porsche are all multimillions-of-dollars-deep into developing their involvement; Nico Rosberg, Qualcomm, and Discovery are investors. They see the racing series as a critical testing ground for technologies on tap for the transportation devices of the future. And such brands as Hugo Boss, Bremont, and Tag Heuer, among others, are hosting parties, conferences, and drive events for press and VIPs throughout the week preceding the races; Harley Davidson is using it as an opportunity to unveil its first-ever electric motorcycle, Project Livewire, to selected media for first-ride reviews.Indeed, Formula E is a celebration of the future of electric autos. It provides stark relief between those companies that can make a viable electric motor and those that can’t. Whereas F1 technologies are so proprietary and secretive that fans need they need a university degree to wade through the distinctions, Formula E teams use the same battery with the same amount of energy; the team that designs the most efficient motor is very likely to win. (That’s with no small effort from one of the welterweight-fit race car drivers, of course.)The stakes are high, if still speculative. Today, battery-powered vehicles account for 1.2% of automotive sales worldwide, but by 2025 their number is expected jump to nearly 11 million vehicles sold, 10 times what it is today. The key for automakers in the meantime is to convince consumers that electric cars are reliable and durable enough to withstand daily, crushing, enthusiastic, and even monotonous use.Tickets to the 2019 New York City E-Prix can be had cheap, at $12. Without the ear-drum-blowing, dangerous decibels of a F1 race, the races presents a family-friendly opportunity to see at thrilling proximity how an emerging sport is gathering speed. (No pun intended.)Plus, while you’re there, you can explore one of New York’s most exciting, fast-developing neighborhoods. (Plus the largest Ikea, complete with Swedish meatballs, you’ve probably ever seen.) Here are our best recommendations for where to eat, drink, and watch during the Formula E races, and even sleep the night before. Where to EatHometown Bar B QueSouthern-style brisket, pork, lamb, and turkey, pit-smoked to pair with traditional sides and craft beers. 454 Van Brunt St.Fort DefianceNeighborhood farm-to-table cooking includes summer squash risotto, Berkshire pork chop, and pan-roasted branzino. Fort Defiance has a full cocktail and oyster bar as well. 365 Van Brunt St.Steve’s Authentic Key Lime PiePies and tarts made by hand from fresh-squeezed lime juice for more than 30 years. The citrus-averse will find a few chocolate concoctions there, too. 185 Van Dyke St.Pizza MotoBrick-oven New York-style pizza, from classics such as Margherita and Pepperoni to Jerzy Pork Store and Vermonter. 338 Hamilton Ave.Grindhaus Local eclectic fare such as Southern-rub roasted chicken, chilled pea soup, and twice-fried chicken wings, plus a full bar. 275 Van Brunt St.Red Hook Lobster PoundSourcing live Maine lobster for six different types of lobster rolls, plus fish ’n’ chips, hot crab dip, and a succulent shareable lobster for two, among other crowd favorites. 284 Van Brunt St. Where to Sleep1 Hotel BrooklynSet on Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, a full restaurant, and multiple bars. The rooms incorporate reclaimed woods, industrial steel, and custom organic-cotton elements by Keetsa. 60 Furman St., Brooklyn HeightsThe William ValeAt Williamsburg’s newest hotel, with a stunning roof deck and pool, sunset drinks are a must. All of the slick, minimal rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and deck balconies. The ground floor Southern Italian-style restaurant is operated by chef Andrew Carmellini of the Dutch, Locanda Verde, and Bar Primi. 111 N. 12th St., WilliamsburgThe Ludlow HotelAn option in Manhattan’s Lower East Side that’s close enough to be accessible to Red Hook while you keep a foot in the center of it all. Slightly more undercover than its Bowery Hotel sister property, with studios, terraces, lofts, and a penthouse on offer. Its restaurant, Dirty French, is a perpetual scene. 180 Ludlow St., Manhattan Where to DrinkDive BarsSunny’s Red HookDefinitive Brooklyn dive; you’ll know it by the old truck parked out front. 253 Conover St.Brooklyn Ice HouseCasual, outdoor seating with simple burgers to match the PBR and onion rings. 318 Van Brunt St.Van Brunt Still HouseA small-batch distillery with a roughed-up, cool tasting room and selections such as spicy rye whiskey, smoky corn whiskey, and smooth wheated bourbon. 6 Bay St.Cocktails With a ViewThe William ValeHead to the rooftop for Instagram-worthy cocktails at sunset. 111 N. 12th St., Williamsburg1 Hotel BrooklynThe best hotel views of Manhattan while closest to the race course. 60 Furman St., Brooklyn HeightsBrooklyn CrabAround the corner from Sunny’s. If you stretch, you can see the Statue of Liberty from the roof deck—and play lawn games, while you’re at it. 24 Reed St.Ceconis x Dumbo HouseSoho House’s Brooklyn location offers Old-Fashioned cocktails and water views on the East River. 55 Water St. Formula E Rules to KnowFormula E is like Formula One but with cars powered by electric batteries, rather than conventional engines. This season, 22 drivers from 11 teams are racing to win the top spot by the end of the series, which has taken them to such locales as Santiago, Hong Kong, Paris, Monaco, Rome, and Marrakesh, Morocco.The official ABB FIA Formula E Championship includes two separate titles, one for the winning driver and one for the winning team. The driver championship goes to whoever earns the most points over the eight-month season. The team championship goes to the team with the highest combined scores of its two drivers over the season. This season, Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne is currently in first place among the drivers, and China’s DS Techeetah leads the team rankings.Drivers earn points by finishing well in each race, with 25 points awarded to the race winner, 18 points to the runner-up, 15 points for a third-place finish, and so forth. Tenth place earns one point, after which no points are awarded. The driver who is at pole position earns an additional three points, while the driver who sets the fastest lap and finishes in the top 10 gets an additional one.The drivers have two ways to get more power for their cars during a race—and these launch it squarely into live-action video game territory, unlike the analog Formula One. The first one is called Attack Mode. To do this, drivers leave the racing line and drive through a slower lane in the “activation zone.” If they do this, they get an extra 25 kW of power unlocked on the powertrain, which they can use to help them speed through the next few laps. Or they can win the “Fan Boost” power surge, which is determined by fan voting. This awards the driver a 25 kW power boost during a five-second window in the second half of a race. Fans can vote for favorite drivers online or live on Twitter by using the hashtag of the name of their chosen driver along with FANBOOST.It is forbidden to use more than four new rear and four new front tires during each racing weekend, from shakedown through the end of the race. If for some reason, a team burns through its allotted supply of tires, it’s out of the race. All teams must use special, bespoke, 18-inch, all-weather Michelin tires.No charging of any car is allowed during qualifying rounds and the E-Prix, but teams can charge their cars between sessions and during practice. Cars are charged on generators powered by glycerine, a zero-emission bio-diesel byproduct; it takes one hour to fully charge. Only one car is used per driver per race. The Race ScheduleFridays are typically for shakedowns, when drivers and teams get to know the track and evaluate the technology and mechanics of their cars.Each race weekend involves practice sessions—one 45 minutes long and one 30 minutes long—on the first track day, as well as one on the second track day. The time keepers are engaged during the practice sessions, but the results don’t count toward final standings.Qualifying rounds happen before each day’s main events on Saturday and Sunday. They determine the order in which each driver will start the race. They’re run in groups of up to six cars, so there’s a little more room to maneuver on the track. Each group posts its fastest lap, and the fastest six times go on to compete in a “super pole” shootout wherein drivers compete one-by-one for pole position. The driver with the fastest qualifying time gets the first-place start, and the driver with the slowest time starts at the back. Qualifying sessions last one hour.The race itself is called the “E-Prix.” It lasts 45 minutes, plus one lap. Once the leader has crossed the finish line after 45 minutes of racing, everyone does one more lap before the race is officially over. The CarThis season will see new cars racing around 12 cities. (Previous model cars are now on sale to collectors.) The 2019 car has a battery with capacity nearly double that of its predecessor; it will debut in New York with 250 kW of power (equal to 335 bhp) and can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds. Top speed is 280 kilometers per hour (174 mph).The minimum weight of the car and driver together is 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds). (The battery alone weighs 385 kg, or 849 pounds.) Each car is 5,160 millimeters long and 1,770 mm wide, or about 17 feet long and nearly six feet wide.The halo ring around the top of the cockpit on the new cars is there for protection in the event of a crash. It also has an LED strip that flashes blue, when the driver is in Attack Mode, and magenta, when a driver is using Fanboost. The CourseThe 1.5-mile track runs along the historic Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, deep in Brooklyn’s Red Hook section. Because of its 14 corners, it is considered the toughest in the series for all 22 cars and drivers. There will be grandstands, paddocks, entertainment areas, and VIP lounges for ticket holders and attendees.The CrashesInevitably, cars will collide. Usually, the impact isn’t severe; as the old saying goes, if you’re not rubbing, you’re not racing. But when bad collisions happen, the halo ring that sits above the cockpit will protects drivers from the force of 14 cars stacked on top of their vehicle. Here is a compilation of the most dramatic crashes of the season so far. Drivers to WatchJean-Éric VergneThe Frenchman won last year’s championship, clinching the title after the New York E-Prix in 2018. Vergne competed in Formula One for Scuderia Toro Rosso from 2012 to 2014 and was a Ferrari test and development driver from 2015 to 2016. In the standings this year driving for Techeetah, he is currently in first place.Lucas Di Grassi The Brazilian racer drives for Audi’s Formula E team. He won the Formula E championship title in the 2016/2017 season; this year he’s currently in second place.Mitch Evans The Kiwi won his first-ever Formula E race in Rome this year, driving for Panasonic Jaguar Racing. He’s currently in third place.André LottererThe German racer is the second driver for Techeetah, currently in fourth place and helping boost the team to an all-around top post so far in the series. He is famous for his three wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Audi, and for winning the World Endurance championship in 2012. Teams to WatchDS TecheetahThe Chinese motor racing team is currently leading the team standings under team principal Mark Preston. Its two drivers hold the first and fourth positions going into July’s races.Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Germany’s Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler was one of the founding members of the Formula E racing series. The team principal is Allan McNish, who has led the team to its current second-place standing.Envision Virgin Racing The British racing team is majority-owned by Envision Energy, with Sylvain Filippi as principal. A founding member of the Formula E series, it currently sits in third place in the overall standings.BMW i Andretti MotorsportAt No. 6, BMW i Andretti racing is the top-ranked team with a U.S. affiliation. It sits in the Andretti Autosport conglomerate owned and operated by former driving champion Michael Andretti. How to Get ThereBy Shuttle — Free shuttles to the track leave from Carroll Gardens and from the Atlantic Terminal near Barclays Center every half hour.By Subway — The Carroll Street Station stop on the F Line is a 15-minute walk to the track.By Car — Street parking will be a challenge, so plan to park in an outdoor lot, pay with cash, and walk to the event. Better yet, go by taxi or car service.By Citi Bike — You can pick them up all over Brooklyn and in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. If you get one in Manhattan, ride over the Brooklyn Bridge for beautiful views. Allow an hour or so for the ride, but remember to dock the bike/re-check it out every 30 minutes, or risk a fee. Don’t Forget to BringTickets — Prices start at $12 and reach $390 for two-day lounge passes.Sunscreen — There will be indoor lounges and covered areas and seating, but the grandstand seats lie under direct sunlight. Plan ahead to protect your skin.Ear Plugs — Formula E has nowhere near the sound level of Formula 1, which can reach 140 decibels during a race. But at a top level of 80 decibels, Formula E still merits some ear protection.To contact the author of this story: Hannah Elliott in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Justin Ocean at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(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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