Sep. 5, 2015, 12:02 PM
- News in the automobile industry this week continues to indicate seismic changes are coming.
- The Silicon Valley factor: A deeper commitment by Apple and Google in the automobile sector is widely anticipated, although an all-in bet on the manufacturing side is still considered a reach. Key acquisitions, partnerships, or joint ventures in software, self-driving technology, and infotainment systems could sort out the winners from the losers. German players BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY) and Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:DDAIF) could be in the mix.
- The Sergio factor: Though the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) CEO continues to make some bold projections on the powerful merger synergies a tie-up with General Motors (NYSE:GM) would create, his math works for other combinations within the industry as well. Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM), Honda (NYSE:HMC), and Volvo (OTCPK:GELYF) are each struggling in various markets.
- The Tesla factor: Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) has engaged in a war of words with Toyota (NYSE:TM) in the electric vs. hydrogen debate. The EV automaker is also in a race with General Motors and Nissan over developing a mass-market EV with the driving range and sticker price to sell at scale. There's also been a tug-of-war over employees with Silicon Valley counterpart Apple. With so many enemies, some analysts think Tesla needs more friends in the space. Who has the ~$40B-$50B to buy out Elon or the moxie to strike a strategic partnership?
- Looking for a wildcard? Sony (NYSE:SNE) CEO Kazuo Hirai told the Financial Times this week that his company would absolutely partner with an automobile company if a deal makes sense.
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Industry: Diversified Investments