Mobileye's (MBLY) CEO Ziv Aviram on Q2 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

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Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY)

Q2 2016 Earnings Conference Call

July 26, 2016 08:00 ET

Executives

Dan Galves - Chief Communication Officer

Ziv Aviram - Co Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Amnon Shashua - Co Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman

Ofer Maharshak - Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Rod Lache - Deutsche Bank

Itay Michaeli - Citi

Brian Johnson - Barclays

Brian Drab - William Blair

David Leiker - Baird

Chris McNally - Evercore ISI

Emmanuel Rosner - CLSA

Joseph Spak - RBC Capital Markets

Tavis McCourt - Raymond James

Rich Kwas - Wells Fargo

Samik Chatterjee - JPMorgan

Saul Rubin - Haitong Securities

Alex Potter - Piper Jaffray

Operator

Good morning. My name is Melissa and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Mobileye Fiscal Q2 2016 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. Mr. Dan Galves, you may begin your conference.

Dan Galves

Thanks, Melissa. Good morning, everyone and welcome to Mobileye’s second quarter 2016 earnings call. I am Dan Galves, Chief Communications Officer. And with me on the call is Ziv Aviram, Co-Founder, President and CEO; Professor Amnon Shashua, Co-Founder, CTO; and Ofer Maharshak, CFO and Senior Vice President.

This morning, we filed our 6-K with the SEC that includes the earnings press release and summary financial tables. These are also available on our IR website at ir.mobileye.com. Following our remarks, we will open the call for questions.

I would like to remind everyone that certain statements will be made during today’s conference call that are forward-looking within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. Changes in business, competitive, technological, regulatory and other factors, including changes in the general economy could cause Mobileye’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements made today. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. In addition, we will make reference to certain non-GAAP financial measures, including non-GAAP net income. The reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in this morning’s second quarter earnings press release. For more detailed information about the factors and other risks that may impact our business as well as the non-GAAP financial measures, please review the paragraphs in this morning’s press release that are entitled Forward-Looking Statements and Non-GAAP Financial Measures.

And now, it’s my pleasure to turn the call over to Ziv.

Ziv Aviram

Thank you, Dan. I would like to thank everyone for joining us on the call today. We had a successful second quarter both in securing and promoting the evolving ADAS business as well as making substantial progress towards cementing Mobileye’s long-term autonomous driving position. I will provide some key highlights for the second quarter and recent developments.

On the ADAS side, we have been awarded new programs, established new Tier 1 partnerships and launched new EyeQ3 programs with OEMs. And specifically, we have been awarded new programs at Volvo with Autoliv as a Tier 1 that includes a mono-based solution for Euro NCAP 2020 compliance and trifocal solutions for the Volvo Drive Me project. Both programs will run on EyeQ4. We won a high volume program that Fiat Chrysler program that launches in late 2017 with Delphi as the Tier 1. We won business with a new domestic Chinese OEM, Southeast Motors. This is our third domestic Chinese OEM following SAIC and First Auto Works. We signed a contract to have Mobis join our list of Tier 1 partners. We won additional programs with First Auto Works of China.

As for new EyeQ3 launches, the initial stage of Nissan ProPILOT product was recently launched with ZF TRW as a Tier 1. The product supports a wide spectrum of mono-camera based functions, including the first camera-only Adaptive Cruise Control and auto-steering on EyeQ3. In addition to the full spectrum of crash avoidance technologies that are compliant with Euro NCAP 2016. ProPILOT will grow to include hybrid lane changing in 2018 and autonomous features in an urban setting in 2020. The Mazda 3 was launched with a camera-only EyeQ3, running the full spectrum of Euro NCAP crash avoidance compliant functions. This is the first Mazda vehicle to ever include an EyeQ3 chip.

Our aftermarket business exceeded expectation this quarter. And beyond strong profit generation, there were two good examples of how this business can be deployed in strategic ways that demonstrate the benefit of vehicle intelligence systems. Columbus, Ohio was named winner of the U.S. Smart City Challenge. We will now deploy our STiR Plus product on their transit system, as well as work with them to build a data management system to track a variety of data then can be used to make urban planning safer and more efficient. Secondly, the recently completed successful pilot program with the Highway Ministry of Transportation in China. Over 30 million kilometers, our technology led the 25% plus deduction in crashes and new crashes. We believe this should lead to incremental programs in China.

With that, I will turn the call over to Amnon who will discuss long-term development around autonomous driving.

Amnon Shashua

Thank you, Ziv. Moving to autonomous driving, the second quarter highlights include on July 1, Mobileye, BMW and Intel announced a program to put level 3 and level 4 autonomous vehicles in volume production on the road by 2021 using the full capabilities of EyeQ5. We believe this represents a turning point in the auto industry, both in terms of a clear commitment to volume production of level 4 autonomy, but also the start of a paradigm shift where partnerships among OEMs, Mobileye and additional players emerge in order to tackle together as equal partners the ambitious challenge of putting a safe level 4 autonomous vehicle on the road.

In this program, Mobileye’s full suite of computer vision algorithms, including sensing from a 360 degrees camera coverage, driving policy and REM technology come together as an integrated solution in order to provide the vehicle intelligence in addition to joint development between Mobileye and BMW and other key functions such as sensor fusion. This is also our first EyeQ5 award.

On REM technology, we are in the final stages of signing our first definitive contract with Volkswagen. Based on our discussions, we believe that REM can provide dynamic mapping services that become a valued layer within navigational mapping products. The principles that we will agree with Volkswagen should form a universal framework that will be applicable to and form the basis of our arrangements with other OEMs. Discussions with map providers, TomTom and HERE, also have been promising. We believe that by the end of the year, REM technology will be adopted by 4, 5 incremental OEM partners and that we will be able to share the business model principles publicly.

Finally, I have few words to say about our relationship with Tesla. Mobileye’s work with Tesla will not extend beyond EyeQ3. We continue to support and maintain the current Tesla Autopilot product plans. This includes the significant upgrade of several functions that affect both our ability to respond to crash avoidance and to optimize auto-steering in the near-term without any hardware updates. Nevertheless, in our view, moving forward, more advanced autonomy is a paradigm shift both in terms of function complexity and the need to ensure an extremely high level of safety. There is much at stake here to Mobileye’s reputation and to the industry at large. Mobileye believes that achieving this objective requires partnerships that go beyond the typical OEM supplier relationship, such as our recently announced collaboration with BMW and Intel. Mobileye will continue to pursue similar such relationships.

With that, I will turn the call over to Ofer, who will go over the financials in more detail.

Ofer Maharshak

Thank you, Amnon. I will now walk you through our financial performance for the second quarter of 2016 that we released earlier today and then provide our guidance for the remainder of 2016. Note that I will be discussing non-GAAP numbers, which exclude the impact of share based compensation, net of applicable tax effects.

This quarter consistent with the recent SEC guidance, we have added to our non-GAAP number the effect of tax as it relates to share based compensation. Our non-GAAP numbers exclude the impact of share based compensation in the applicable P&L line and the tax effect associated with it in the income tax line. In our earnings press release and summary financial tables, we also adjusted the non-GAAP presentation for all presented reporting periods to show the tax effect of share based compensation. Overall, we had strong quarter with revenue and margins exceeding our expectations and cash flow continued to run at robust levels.

During the second quarter of 2016 total revenue was $83.5 million, an increase of 58% versus the prior year period and 11% sequentially. OEM segment’s revenue increased 47% on a year-over-year basis to $64.4 million. The growth was primarily the result of additional volume coming from launches during the second half of 2015, the addition of new models to previously launched programs, as well as the launch of our technology with Mazda. Aftermarket revenue contributed the remaining $19.1 million of total revenue in the quarter and represented 23% of total revenue. Aftermarket revenue increased 108% on a year-over-year basis. On sequential basis, aftermarket revenue increased 39%. As noted on the Q1 call, we had seen an up-tick in volume late in the quarter and this continued throughout Q2.

Drilling down further into some of the drivers of Q2 revenue, EyeQ chip volume increased 45% year-over-year to 1.409 million EyeQ units and grew 7% sequentially. Our OEM ASP for the second quarter was $44.05 compared to $43.07 during the same period last year and $44.02 in Q1 of 2016. The increase in ASP this quarter is related to the mix of deliveries, which reflect a higher portion of pedestrians autonomous emergency braking. ASP depends upon the complexity of features and fluctuate among quarters, we continue to expect ASPs for ADAS products to modestly trend up over time as the mix of deliveries shifts from legacy programs to the more advanced bundles of more recently awarded programs.

Turning to profitability, during the second quarter gross margin increased to 75.6% from 74.3% in the second quarter of 2015 and from 75.3% in the first quarter of 2016. This increase, despite the unfavorable mix between OEM and aftermarket is both the result of increased ASP as I just mentioned, but also improved margins in the aftermarket due to economies of scale, as well as some successful initiatives to reduce direct costs. Total GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses increased 47.7% and 43% respectively, compared to second quarter of 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects continued investment into research and development to support a variety of new initiatives, such as REM and advanced algorithms for higher levels of autonomous driving.

As a percentage of revenue, GAAP operating expenses declined to 39% from 42% and non-GAAP operating expenses declined to 22% from 26% in the same quarter last year, representing good leverage on our revenue growth. Sequentially, total GAAP operating expenses are relatively the same, while non-GAAP operating expenses decreased 7%. In this quarter, there was approximately $1.4 million increase in reimbursement of a portion of our R&D expenses that are attributable to specific development programs that we won in the past and are in process ahead of future launch. Such reimbursement is shown as a reduction of the R&D expenses.

Excluding these reimbursements, GAAP and non-GAAP gross R&D increased compared to the first quarter of 2016. GAAP net income increased 75.9% to $26.9 million from $15.3 million in the second quarter of 2015. Excluding share based compensation net of tax at the amount of $14.4 million and $8.3 million for this quarter and the same quarter last year respectively, non-GAAP net income came to $41.2 million, representing 49.4% of revenues compared to $23.6 million and 44.7% in the same quarter in 2015. The increase in our profit margins is the result of our highly leverageable business model where the expense base is R&D intense and not directly tied to revenue growth. This results in the potential for high incremental margins, which was the case this quarter also compared to last quarter. Our tax expense down to $4.2 million or a non-GAAP effective tax rate of 9.3% this quarter, this is roughly in line with our forward expectation of approximately 10%.

Turning to the balance sheet and cash flow, as of June 30, we had $543 million in cash and marketable securities, up from $510 million at the end of Q1 2016. During the second quarter, we generated $37.8 million of from operating activities and $33 million as non-GAAP free cash flow. This compares to $23.6 million and $22.8 million respectively, in the second quarter of 2015. Non-GAAP free cash flow represents cash flow from operating activities minus capital expenditures at the amount of $4.8 million for the second quarter of 2016 and $0.8 million for the second quarter of 2015. Our non-GAAP free cash flow generation reflects one of the strengths of our highly scalable business model. Just to reiterate, quarterly cash flow can vary due to the timing of working capital requirements and capital expenditures requirements, although our annual trends continued to be strong.

I would like now to finish with some thoughts regarding our financial outlook for the full year 2016. We are raising our total 2016 revenue guidance range to be between $344 million and $350 million from the prior $336 million to $340 million, representing 44% year-over-year growth at the midpoint. The increase is fully explained by the higher than expected aftermarket volume that began late in Q1 and that we now see as sustainable. As a result, we expect aftermarket to represent approximately 20% of total revenue for the full year. As a reminder, we view and manage our business on an annual basis as our quarterly results can fluctuate due to the timing of orders and the timing of the introduction of new vehicle models containing our products. However, according to current information, we expect 2016 quarterly revenue to be highest in Q4, with sequential percentage increases in the Q3 and Q4 expected to be similar.

As for net income, we are also raising our full year non-GAAP net income guidance range to $167 million to $170 million, representing approximately 48.5% compared to previous guidance that represented 48%. The increase in our profitability, despite unfavorable mix between OEM and aftermarket revenue, comes from increased margins in our aftermarket activities. We expect EPS to be in the range of $0.70 to $0.71 per share. We are not changing our long-term revenue target or CAGR assumptions. In summary, we were very pleased with our second quarter results, which represent continued revenue execution on existing launch programs and strong performance in our aftermarket segment. We are particularly pleased with our ability to drive solid growth on the top line, ASP increase and margin expansion, which flows through to the bottom line.

With that, we will be happy to take your questions. Operator?

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Rod Lache from Deutsche Bank, your line is open.

Rod Lache

Hi everybody. I had couple of questions on your remarks. First, I was hoping you could just talk a little bit about how we should be interpreting your comments about Tesla? I think, it’s been pretty clear that they have been working on all aspects of sensing and you know is it your sense that they are basically looking to replace EyeQ3 on the Model 3? And also you made some comments about working with Autoliv and Mobius. I know that you generally don't work with Tier 1s that are developing their own vision algorithms. So is this an indication that that they are effectively abandoning their own efforts and joining with Mobileye?

Amnon Shashua

Hi Rod. This is Amnon. With respect to the last part of your question about Autoliv and Mobis, so Mobis joined our list of Tier 1 partners with all the constraints that come with it. So with respect to Mobis, it’s just like our other Tier 1 partners Delphi, TRW and so forth, Valeo and so forth. With respect to Autoliv, Autoliv is not a part of our list of Tier 1 partners. In some rare occasions when an OEM asks us to work with a Tier 1, we do so and this is the result. So with respect to Autoliv, it’s just like we had with BMW back in 2011. We worked with Autoliv even though it’s not part of our list of Tier 1 partners.

With respect to Tesla, we made a statement, I don’t want to put too much color into it, I don’t want to open the floor to now speculations. I think EyeQ3 shipments to Tesla would continue for the near future and maybe even the longer future. We simply decided where we need to put our resources for the future of autonomous driving and there are all sorts of considerations where you need to put your resources and we decided what we decided.

Rod Lache

Okay, so basically you're suggesting that this is more of a decision from Mobileye’s perspective or was it sort of you know decided on both ends that the relationship would basically end with this version of the technology?

Amnon Shashua

Again, I don’t want to open the floor to more speculations. We made this decision and I think in the near term the relationship is going to continue as is. We are continuing to support existing product including even significant software upgrades but moving forward to full autonomy level 3, level 4 autonomy, we think that that’s not in the interest of Mobileye to continue with Tesla in that area.

Rod Lache

Okay, thank you and I was hoping, you know, you can maybe just give us little bit of an update on REM and how this is evolving? When – at CES when you announced this, it sounded like GM was going to begin deploying REM even this year. Is that still the case and can you give us any color on what's – what the additional revenue opportunities might be vis-à-vis REM, you mentioned, TomTom and here is the potential customers.

Amnon Shashua

So a lot has happened with REM technology in the past quarter. With GM, we are continuing the proof of concept. This is technical work that we are doing towards deciding on what date we can start launching REM. So it’s still not set when we are going to launch REM. It’s definitely not going to be in 2016 but hopefully somewhere in 2017 this would happen with Volkswagen and Nissan continuing technical work. But with Volkswagen specifically, we have converged on their business model and really in the very near future would be able to sign a definitive agreement and use that as the framework and basis for signing up the rest of the industry. We had many informal discussions with many of the OEMs just to see whether they are showstoppers in the business model that we converged with Volkswagen and to our satisfaction there are no showstoppers and as evident the PR that was issued with BMW/Intel alliance mentions our REM technology even though that BMW is not yet officially one of our partners for the REM technology. So it’s simply – it’s a kind of evidence that there are no significant showstoppers to move forward.

The same thing with the mapmakers here and TomTom, there are significant discussions also high-level discussions. Again, we see no showstoppers to have them as our customers. And even in some cases our partners for building together tools to support our REM technology. So, things are moving very, very nicely. We believe that by the end of this year. We can have a significant part of the auto industry signed up to REM technology with the desire to have the entire auto industry signed up to the REM technology. We have a very good business model that incentivizes car manufacturers to join in. It is something that required a lot of innovation not less than the technical innovation and also were mapmakers. And at that point, I believe that we will be able to provide more color on the financial aspect of the business model, but it’s too early to talk about the business model.

Rod Lache

Okay, great. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Itay Michaeli from Citi. Your line is open.

Itay Michaeli

Great, thanks. Good afternoon, everybody. I just was wondering what the industry feedback has been since the BMW announcement? I think, your press release does suggest you expect some other type of significant collaboration, so I was hoping you can maybe provide some outlook around in the next year. So, how many more you think you might be able to join into the standardization for fully autonomous solutions?

Amnon Shashua

We have discussions with other OEMs. We expect that in the near future we will be able to announce a number of partnerships of that nature.

Itay Michaeli

Okay, great. And then just a second question, you mentioned the Nissan ProPILOT being the first camera only Adaptive Cruise Control steering assist, what specifically got them comfortable into going for a camera-only solution as opposed to fusion? Did REM have something to do it as well given that they are future customer there and you expect others to potentially follow a similar path of using camera-only for such advanced features?

Amnon Shashua

The difference between camera-only and camera plus radar is cost. And in this case, Nissan is planning a high volume penetration of these kinds of features. Of course introduced in a way which is safe, now that driver cannot use this technology freely, your hands needs to be on the steering wheel and all sorts of other safety mechanisms are put there. Because again camera only auto steering is not something that you can provide a driver in an unlimited way, otherwise the technology can be abused and create problems. But it is if used properly, it is something that is increases safety, increases the possibility to avoid crashes and having it in high-volume penetration is a good thing and by removing the radar from a cost perspective, you can do that.

Itay Michaeli

Great, that’s very helpful. Thanks so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brian Johnson from Barclays. Your line is open.

Brian Johnson

Yes, good morning and good afternoon. I want to talk a little bit strategically about sensor fusion and to some extent driver policy. You know, I guess three questions; one, in the BMW Intel relationship, how do you expect the sensor fusion software to be developed. What do you think the role of the various partners will be? And will there be room for Tier 1 in that? Second question is you know what does that kind of relationship to some of your earlier comments about not continuing on with Tesla, you know just maybe broadly, what are you looking for with the Tier 1 and OEMs vis-à-vis sensor fusion and who is doing what taking in the radar feeds? And third, longer term is LIDAR going to be part of that BMW relationship?

Amnon Shashua

Okay. So, in the BMW – this is Amnon. So, in the BMW relationship, with respect to fusion, these are algorithms to be developed between Mobileye and BMW and deployed on the Intel chip. So, the EyeQ5 will be processing all the camera information, including radars and LIDARs for redundancy. Fusion algorithms will run on the Intel chip and very possibly also the driving policy algorithms developed by Mobileye in conjunction with BMW would also be deployed on the Intel chip. This is as far as the BMW project is being done. Last part of your question, about LIDARs, yes, definitely, LIDAR is part of the sensor mix in all ideas of – in all configurations of level 4 autonomy. Level 4 autonomy requires very, very high degrees of safety. And to use all possible sensors, cameras, radars, LIDARs, ultrasonic, mapping, you don’t save on any type of sensor that can be useful. Was there anything else that I missed in your question?

Brian Johnson

Yes, I guess in terms of co-development.

Amnon Shashua

Again?

Brian Johnson

Tier 1s on BMW and are they involved with sensor fusion or what’s – how does their role fit in?

Amnon Shashua

Okay. So currently, this alliance does not include the Tier 1, but I believe in the near future, a Tier 1 would be selected.

Brian Johnson

And I guess, just kind of drawing from that vis-à-vis kind of joint development of sensor fusion, what is it that you are looking for partners for level 4 autonomy in terms of what they are doing vis-à-vis sensor fusion and testing a sensor fusion?

Amnon Shashua

In the mix of pillars, sensing, mapping, driving a policy, we see the sensor fusion as not one of the major pillars to be solved. In terms of fusion, you have fusion with radars. We see that mostly happening on a high level perspective. Sensor fusion within cameras and LIDARs, mostly happening on a low level perspective, roll LIDAR signal enters together with camera signals into machine learning algorithms. But those are not issues that we see as complicated issues. The big complicated issues are mapping as we mentioned in the past about the REM technology and driving a policy. This is a seriously complicated issue. And when we look at the partnerships, look at partnerships with car manufacturers that can provide the legacy of validation of data collection of specifications, working with us together on the driving policy, because this is something that requires adaptation to specific car manufacturer legacy and working with us also on the sensor fusion. But I will not put a sensor fusion high on the list of complicated issues.

Brian Johnson

Okay. So, it’s really more around the driving policy. Okay, thanks.

Amnon Shashua

Yes.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brian Drab from William Blair. Your line is open.

Brian Drab

Hi. On the last call, you said that you are developing two partnerships for fully autonomous driving, one 2019 – ranging from 2019 to 2021. And you said that the programs could be running on the EyeQ4 and EyeQ5. So, given the BMW program is EyeQ5 in 2021, can we conclude that the second program is going to be an EyeQ4 and maybe a 2019 launch?

Amnon Shashua

We cannot provide more color. We can say, at this point, that we see three partnerships forming. One of them is the BMW-Intel and there are two more. They would form somewhere towards the end of this year. And when they will form, we will make the announcement.

Brian Drab

Okay. And then of course there are complexities in this – in your relationship with Tesla that you can’t share. But I am wondering if I could just ask if there is something that prevents either of you from coming back to the table in the future? In other words, could you end up working with them again down the road?

Amnon Shashua

Well, I think it was Henry Kissinger that said we have no friends, no enemies, only interests. Nothing is fixed. If in the future, things will change, we will change our decision.

Brian Drab

Okay. And then just as an aside, how many people do you have in the Sri Lanka operation at this point?

Ofer Maharshak

It’s about – this is Ofer, it’s about 650, 700 people, but it’s growing all the time.

Brian Drab

Okay, thank you very much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of David Leiker from Baird. Your line is open.

David Leiker

Good morning. Just one housekeeping item as it relates to Tesla, if I am doing my math right, Tesla is 1% of your sales maybe, is that correct?

Ofer Maharshak

We never commented specifically on exactly which OEM and how – what is the revenue from this OEM, but we always said that financially, Tesla is not material to the financial results of Mobileye.

David Leiker

But if we take their unit volume in the quarter versus your $1.4 million chips, I mean it’s a pretty small portion of your revenue, I guess, I think it’s important levels?

Ofer Maharshak

Of course, it’s very small.

David Leiker

Okay. And then just on a different topic here. If we look at the business that you are pursuing today in terms of RFQs, new bookings, things along those lines, is there anyway to give us some sort of mix between how much of that would be active safety, without AEB active safety with AEB and what’s moving down the road of semiautonomous, autonomous vehicles? Is there anywhere to characterize what that mix of business opportunities look like today?

Ofer Maharshak

David, this is Ofer. I think we always stated that we see most of the RFQs that we see in this timeframe contain AEB, because of all the NCAP around the world. I think majority of our deliveries containing AEB, some sort of AEB functions, but in nature RFQ have different bundles. You have very sophisticated one and you have a kind of a basic one, but we see in every RFQ we see AEB functions.

David Leiker

Okay. And then just one last follow-up on the comment as it relates but Autoliv, you had mentioned that there is a monovision camera and they are in a trifocal can you – it would seem that the monovision has the potential of being an Autoliv product, whereas your supply in the trifocal. Can you clarify that at all?

Amnon Shashua

When we say – this is Amnon. When we say that we are working with the Tier 1, it’s our EyeQ chip. So Autoliv, in this case, is only the Tier 1. They are not providing any sensing technology, camera sensing technology. So, the mono is an EyeQ4 mono and the trifocal is an EyeQ4 trifocal.

David Leiker

Okay, perfect. Thank you very much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Chris McNally from Evercore ISI. Your line is open.

Chris McNally

Hi, guys. A question about the level 4 collaborations and then probably tie it back to Tesla. So, you had previously said you are working with 13 OEMs on autonomous. That’s 7 or 8 interested parties in REM. Is it fair to say that each of these OEMs are potential candidates for the level 4 collaboration or better yet r any of these OES sort of don’t want to participate, because they are approaching level 4 in their own manner? And I think that’s a tie on to Tesla, because people are going to want to understand the path that Tesla wants to go because clearly there is level 4 intentions.

Amnon Shashua

This is Amnon. The way we see Level 4, we see it happening in two tiers, because eventually asymptotically all car manufacturers would want to have a level 4 autonomy as part of their mix. If you don’t do that, then you will be disrupted. But we see that happening in two tiers. The first tier are the OEMs that are actively developing and seeking level 4 as soon as possible. And this is a small number of car manufacturers. I am not ready to say how exactly what is that number, but it’s a relatively small number. And then the second tier are those OEMs which would be engaged in level 4 only when they see a production intent to vehicle ready to industrialize. Therefore, the way we build our partnerships, we build our partnerships both with OEMs but also we will build partnerships with other tech players in order to be able to provide a production intent vehicle as soon as possible to the second-tier OEMs those OEMs who are not at a position to now spend a lot of R&D and resources on building this capability, they would like to have this capability already built at the production intent vehicle by a consortium of players, Mobileye Tier 1s and other players.

Christopher Patrick

And so is it fair to say that the 13 OEMs that you work with on autonomous is a combination of one and two or is it predominantly players who are trying to push forward at a quicker pace?

Amnon Shashua

It’s a combination of one and two.

Christopher Patrick

Okay, perfect. Thanks so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley. Your line is open.

Unidentified Analyst

Good morning, everyone. This is [indiscernible] in for Adam. Couple of questions. So, thinking about the BMW program and beyond just the BMW program, are there ways for Mobileye to work even more closely with Intel to accelerate autonomous transport be it something like supplier or co-development of silicon with them?

Amnon Shashua

We don’t see any reason why this would not happen, right. We have established now a partnership in the context of BMW and we will be open to extend this to other OEMs when the time will be right.

Unidentified Analyst

Got it. And then on fuel economy, wanted to know if your products are getting or can get any more attention from OEMs and regulators for their potential fuel economy benefits?

Ofer Maharshak

Fuel economy benefits – fuel economy. Through the – this is Ofer. Through the aftermarket, we know that there is a potential for combined with fleet management systems, there is a potential of driving behavior that will be more relaxed and that is translating into reduction in fuel consumption. Potentially for a careful driver that gets alerts and driving more carefully there should be also cost advantages by the improved fuel consumption. We know we only acknowledge this with certain participation with a certain Spanish program that are getting some benefits from having Mobileye inside because of the better fuel consumption. But all of that is using the – through our aftermarket activities that we learn all of this.

Unidentified Analyst

Understood. Thank you so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Emmanuel Rosner from CLSA. Your line is open.

Emmanuel Rosner

Hi everybody. So one just financial housekeeping question and then one sort of like more strategic, on the 2019 guidance, so I think you reiterated it, you know this morning. Do you see any upside to it from maybe the ASP as a result of the interest you’re seeing from automakers for semi-autonomy?

Amnon Shashua

I think that in 2019, we assume that we will have some ASP increases but mainly volume increases. Semi-autonomous is going to launch really meaningfully I think in 2018 and we believe it will take some time until it will be meaningful. But maybe another aspect of 2019, I just want to elaborate on my response earlier Tesla was not material this year in terms of financial but also for 2019, you know on planning, we planned for about 2% of our revenues in 2019 to come from Tesla.

Emmanuel Rosner

Okay, that’s good color. And I guess from a strategic point of view, so as part of these level 4 partnerships, I think you had indicated that these are you know some of these vehicles would be for ride-sharing purposes, so as part of these discussions sort of like these partnerships, are you also talking to mobility providers you know the type of companies such you know Lyft and Gett and if so you know what sort of response have you been getting from them?

Amnon Shashua

This is Amnon. No, we are not involved in discussions with shared mobility companies, because we believe that asymptotically most of the car manufacturers would become mobility companies. So, there will be nothing special about Lyft and Uber and Gett in the longer term. So, our focus is in the car industry.

Emmanuel Rosner

Understood. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Joseph Spak from RBC Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Joseph Spak

Hi, thanks for taking the question. Just to go back to the Tesla comment, real quick. I believe, Amnon you said that the relationship needs to go beyond a typical OEM supplier relationship. So – and I know you are a little bit hamstrung in terms of what you can say here. But is that – is the interpretation there – here that this is more about the actual partnership and perhaps sort of level of control versus a difference on how the technology evolves?

Amnon Shashua

I think we made public statements following the crash, the May 7 crash that can give some color. I think in a partnership, we need to be there on all aspects of how the technology is being used and not simply providing technology and not being in control on how it is being used. I think that this provides a bit more color to the official statement that we made and it’s based on public statements that we have made following the crash.

Joseph Spak

Okay, that’s helpful. And then, Ofer, just maybe a housekeeping one on the financials I just – as you mentioned and versus sort of our expectations as well. After [indiscernible] came in a lot better, so did the gross margin. And I had thought you guys had mentioned that gross margin was – that aftermarket was if anything gross margin dilutive. So I just wanted to better understand if there was something that changed on the model in the aftermarket business or if you have hit a point of inflection in the following there?

Ofer Maharshak

Joe, this is Ofer. So, we, as I also commented on the prepared remarks, this quarter was a little bit unique by the fact that we have seen despite the unfavorable mix between OEM and aftermarket, we’ve seen a growth in the margins and gross margins. And this is primarily also related to the aftermarket. The aftermarket is less in terms of profitability on gross margin basis from – compared to the OEM. But we managed to do some initiatives to reduce the direct costs. And also, now that the volume kicks in and picks up, we get some savings out of economies of scale. So we do see an increase on margins on the aftermarket. We don’t think that this is a one time, that’s why also our guidance increased despite again an unfavorable mix between OEM and aftermarket for the full year. Still, we increased our net margins from 48% in the previous guidance to 48.5% in this guidance.

Joseph Spak

Okay, thanks. Very helpful.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Tavis McCourt from Raymond James. Your line is open.

Tavis McCourt

Hi, guys. Thanks for taking my question. Two of them. First, Amnon, I was wondering if you could comment a little bit on the need for standardization of either the sensor reference design or some of the software that will be required for autonomous driving. And do you think it’s viable that the industry continues to move the way it is today where individual OEMs have individual projects or there need be more collaboration? And then secondly, Ofer, I wonder if you could drive – or tell us some of the drivers to the aftermarket forecasts? I think at the time of the IPO, this was a smaller business. Are there new revelatory changes in certain countries or what exactly is driving the growth there and how sustainable could it be? Thanks.

Amnon Shashua

Hi, this is Amnon. About the standardization, I think the BMW alliance made a very, very interesting comment about the need for standardization. If you have 30 car manufacturers trying to compete one against the other in such an ambitious project, which in my view, it’s no less than sending a man to the moon in terms of being able to reach level four autonomy in a safe manner. There should be some consolidation in terms of deciding on a uniform standardization on what sensors are going to be in the car, how they are going to be placed, what software stack is there. I am not talking about sharing source codes of a function, but how it is broken down into components such that when the day comes, when there is an accident, one can clearly demonstrate that you are using the state-of-the-art, rather than each one is competing against the other. It will hurt the entire industry, reaching a consolidation in terms of standardization of ideas, let’s call this, is something that is natural. And I believe that will naturally evolve in the coming few years.

Ziv Aviram

Tavis, this is Ziv. Regarding your question on aftermarkets, usually we work in three layers in aftermarket. The first one is moving awareness and selling products to the end user. Then after a couple of years, we shift it to multiples like insurance companies and distributors. Some markets, we reached regulation. And this is one of the drivers that pushed the revenue up in the aftermarket is our ultimate goal in creating revenue throughout the markets. And we are very active in big markets to create this kind of government involvement, including United States and China and Israel and other countries.

Tavis McCourt

Thanks.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Rich Kwas from Wells Fargo. Your line is open.

Rich Kwas

Alright. Good afternoon. Amnon, on the standardization just a follow-up on that, there has been some recent reports that the Japanese government, the European Union are working pretty closely on trying to create a standard and just want to get your thoughts on what you are seeing from a regulatory standpoint as it relates to the North American market and whether you see that converging here in a year, coming 1 year or 2 years with regards to the global market working together, it seems like North America would have to participate there to accelerate this, but what’s your views on that at this point?

Amnon Shashua

My view is that standardization would not arrive from regulatory bodies. They don’t have the knowledge and their hands on legacy of building these kinds of systems. The standardization would come from the participating parties, the parties that actually build the technology. This is where the standardization could arrive. And then the regulatory bodies would need to approve those systems once they are on the road. But I don’t see standardization coming from committees sitting and deciding what sensors are going to be there and how the problem is going to be broken down. It’s actually – actual partners that are building the technology would need to talk to each other to reach standardization.

Rich Kwas

Okay. So that would mean that OEMs – global OEMs, from a soft regulatory standpoint, would really have to work together collectively?

Amnon Shashua

Exactly.

Rich Kwas

Okay. And then just a quick follow-up Ofer, on as we think about operating expenses, so there was a better than expected this quarter, you are spending a fair amount on R&D this year for REM and other initiatives, do we think – as we think about longer term over the next couple of years, we think about a similar increase in growth in operating expenses or is there seem to be may be some better leverage coming as it relates to some of the volume you realized recently?

Ofer Maharshak

Hi Rich, this is Ofer. So we do not change our long-term estimates in terms of CAGR and the target for 2019. And as we commented last call, we are spending as much as needed, mainly its R&D spending. But we believe that our long-term goal is sustainable in terms of R&D and operating expenses. We are hiring and we hired in the first half of the year significant amount of engineers. We will continue to hiring and we will continue hiring in the next years. But nothing of these hires that we think are going to jeopardize the long-term plan that we established before.

Rich Kwas

Okay. Thank you.

Ziv Aviram

So we are going to take two or three more questions, but please hold your question to just one.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Samik Chatterjee from JPMorgan. Your line is open.

Samik Chatterjee

Hi. Thanks for squeezing me in here. So just one question quickly, don’t really want to go back to the Tesla issue, but more ask about what reaction you have seen from other OEMs to the accident, I believe GM has deviated like the Super Cruise launch to refine technology, have you seen any other and OEMs sort of indicating that they want [indiscernible] the technology more may be push out some launches?

Amnon Shashua

I think the GM announcement is not related to the Tesla crash. I think the car – other car manufacturers have plans and are working along their plans, and those plans have unchanged. It has no affect on the plans of the other OEMs.

Samik Chatterjee

Okay, great. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Saul Rubin from Haitong Securities. Your line is open.

Saul Rubin

Yes, hello. I just wondered, as we look out into the coming years, you want to obviously sustain your position as we move to full autonomy, what – or how willing are you to utilize your cash pile in order to make acquisitions to sustain your position in the marketplace and perhaps that might even take you beyond the camera solutions?

Ziv Aviram

Yes. This is Ziv. We don’t have concrete plans to use the money, but we openly announced that we are looking for acquisitions, if we find one. We don’t want to shift our business from what we are doing today, so we are not looking at different fields. But intangible businesses, we are willing to check any possible acquisitions. And it’s a very good position in automotive industry to be able with the very strong balance sheet for runners who are long-term supplier. They were not under pressure to solve this very positive kind of problem.

Saul Rubin

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Alex Potter from Piper Jaffray. Your line is open.

Alex Potter

Yes. Thanks. I wanted to quickly come back to this concept of standardization, you mentioned BMW comments, I mean the whole concept sounds pretty compelling to me, that if you have as you say, these 30 different OEMs competing with each others, standardization really helps your cause, but obviously there are others in the industry, whether it’s Google or Autoliv or apparently now Tesla, who think they can do it without standardization, what it is that that you think you will ultimately get those folks to capitulate and realize that yours is sort of the way forward when it comes to full autonomy? Thanks.

Amnon Shashua

I don’t think that the word capitalize is really reflecting what is going on. I think there is going to be several streams going forward. It’s not tomorrow there is going to be standardization. But I think the need for standardization exists and it will occur naturally because of the complexity of this problem and the need to reach a solution with a high level of safety. This will drive players to consolidate.

Dan Galves

Okay. Thanks very much, everyone for joining the call. Operator, I will be closing the call now. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. This concludes today’s conference call. You may now disconnect.

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