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MessaggioInviato: lun gen 28, 2019 8:56 am 
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e cmq ci saranno sempre più novità che in Alfa in 10 anni.. :leggi

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MessaggioInviato: mer feb 13, 2019 8:59 pm 
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Iscritto il: ven apr 28, 2006 6:03 pm
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Partners Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co are at odds over how much the German automaker will invest in the No. 2 U.S. automaker's self-driving vehicle unit, with Ford seeking at least $500 million, people familiar with the negotiations said. Analysts and investors have focused on the potential savings their alliance could generate, so any sign of problems in the negotiations is not welcome news.

VW has resisted agreeing to invest in Ford's autonomous vehicle unit, instead preferring to announce the companies will simply work together in that area, according to the people familiar with the talks, who asked not to be identified. Some of the hesitation centers around questions about Ford's technology, one person said.

Ford, on the other hand, wants VW to invest at least $500 million after earlier seeking $1 billion, eyeing deals its larger rival General Motors Co reached with Japan's SoftBank Group Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd that raised $5 billion combined and valued GM's Cruise self-driving vehicle unit at $14.6 billion, the sources said.

VW and Ford declined to discuss details of the talks.

"We are still in ongoing negotiations with Ford, which we are conducting constructively and openly," VW said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Our talks with Volkswagen continue," Ford said in a statement. "Discussions have been productive across a number of areas. We'll share updates as details become more firm."

STICKING POINTS

In January, the companies announced they would join forces on commercial vans and pickup trucks, and also signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on electric and self-driving vehicle technology, actions meant to save the automakers billions of dollars. The companies first disclosed they were discussing such a deal in June 2018 and subsequently said it would expand beyond that.

VW Chief Executive Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett both voiced optimism last month that the deal involving electric and autonomous vehicles would be finalized, but provided no timeline.

Another issue in the talks is how the companies value VW's autonomous technology assets that will be added to the joint effort, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the companies also have been negotiating Ford's use of VW's MEB EV platform, including the volume involved, where VW would provide it and how much Ford would pay for its use, the sources said. However, Ford cannot use the platform until 2024 at the earliest, the people said.

Ford's president of global markets, Jim Farley, suggested during the taping of Detroit television show "Autoline Detroit" on Monday there were challenges around the use of VW's EV platform, saying the MEB was primarily designed for use in Europe and China, and for different consumer needs.

The talks around teaming up on EVs and AVs have advanced together so far, but are not necessarily linked, the sources said. Ford would walk away from a deal it felt was unfair, a second person said.

The discussions have dragged on for months, but there is no deadline and a third person said they could be resolved shortly. Shares of both companies were each down less than 1 percent on Wednesday afternoon.

Sources previously said the framework of a deal would include VW investing in Ford's AV operations, including its Argo AI business. VW, Europe's largest automaker, has earmarked $50 billion to develop electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by 2023.

CHALLENGES

The efforts by VW and Ford to expand their alliance highlight the growing pressure on global automakers to manage the billions of dollars necessary to develop electric and self-driving vehicles, as well as technology to meet tougher emissions standards for millions of internal combustion vehicles they will sell in coming years.

There has been significant investment activity in the industry over the past year around autonomous vehicles, a segment in which Alphabet Inc's Waymo self-driving unit is considered the leader.

VW has been open about its desire to work with other companies around self-driving cars and when the Ford alliance was announced Diess said teaming up with an American company made sense given the more advanced U.S. regulatory environment.

Interest in the sector remains high. On Tuesday, sources said GM and Amazon.com Inc were in talks to take minority stakes in electric automaker Rivian Automotive, potentially tapping in to the startup's vehicle platform. The previous day, driverless delivery startup Nuro said it raised $940 million from SoftBank.

On Feb. 7, startup Aurora, whose CEO earlier led Alphabet's self-driving program, raised more than $530 million in funding, including from Amazon. Aurora has contracts to help VW, Hyundai Motor Co Ltd and China's Byton develop AVs.

SoftBank bought its stake in GM's Cruise unit for $2.25 billion in May 2018, and last October SoftBank and Toyota Motor Corp said they would jointly develop self-driving car services. Honda followed SoftBank last October, agreeing to invest $2.75 billion in Cruise.

Secondo Reuters le trattative tra Vw e Ford sarebbero ad un punto morto. Vw non vuole spendere 1 miliardo di dollari come richiesto da Ford nella divisione per la guida autonoma Argo. Ci sarebbero problemi anche per l'uso da parte di Ford della piattaforma elettrica MEB. Imho sarebbe un'occasione persa enorme per entrambi i contraenti. Condividere il pianale MEB ridurrebbe il rischio dell'introduzione in massa dei veicoli elettrici.


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MessaggioInviato: ven feb 15, 2019 9:56 am 
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Iscritto il: ven apr 28, 2006 6:03 pm
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Ford Motor and Volkswagen Group are progressing toward a potential agreement to join forces on self-driving cars and have overcome earlier obstacles, people familiar with the talks told Bloomberg.

Breakthroughs in the deliberations Thursday include a possible framework for VW to work with and invest in Argo AI, the Ford-backed autonomous-vehicle startup, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. The automakers discussed an approximate valuation for the company of $4 billion, one of the people said.

VW continues to be in constructive talks with Ford, a spokesman for the German giant said by phone, declining to elaborate. A spokeswoman for Ford said discussions are ongoing and have been productive across a number of areas.

A partnership on autonomous technology would build on the deal sealed in January to jointly produce commercial vehicles. The companies found common ground Thursday on a structure to jointly bring self-driving cars to market, the people said. Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, and Ford would create a global colossus in the self-driving space to take on the likes of Alphabet’s Waymo and General Motors' Cruise unit.

“The opportunity here is substantial,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for researcher Autotrader. “You get economies of scale, and VW has an immense global footprint and vast breadth of products.”

Few ‘winners’

An agreement could be finalized in a matter of months, though there’s still much left to be worked out and talks could still falter, the people said after a meeting at Ford’s headquarters near Detroit in Dearborn, Mich. If the companies can pull it off, the arrangement has the potential to jump-start efforts to compete in a mobility services market Ford CEO Jim Hackett has estimated will one day be worth $10 trillion.

“There’s not going to be 10 winners in this space when we look back,” Hackett told analysts last year. “There’s going to be a few, and we plan on being one of them.”

Ford announced plans in February 2017 to invest $1 billion in Argo over five years and hasn’t openly discussed how much the company may be worth.

The framework VW and Ford are discussing would be to create an entity similar to a joint venture, with each partner having equal ownership of the self-driving software, the people said. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said in January his company is “committed” to owning the software stack that will control self-driving cars, and the arrangement with Ford would address this, the people said.

Argo’s credentials

Argo AI was formed in 2016 by Bryan Salesky, an early leader in Google’s self-driving program, and Pete Rander, who helped pioneer Uber Technologies Inc.’s autonomous efforts. The company’s technology drew positive reviews in November when analysts and media rode along in its test cars at an event in Miami.

Where Argo has lagged is in winning the outside investment GM has drawn with Cruise. Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda Motor last year committed to invest a combined $5 billion in Cruise. The deal with Honda valued the company at $14.6 billion.

GM disclosed this month that it may eventually spin off Cruise. In January, the carmaker put its No. 2 executive, Dan Ammann, in charge of the unit.

EV talks

Volkswagen’s potential investment in Argo will be measured in more than just dollars, the people said. The German automaker is also bringing its highly regarded electric-vehicle technology to the discussions. And while Ford has its own battery-powered platform that will debut this year in a sporty SUV with a 300-mile range, the U.S. automaker could gain global reach in markets including Europe and China by tapping into Volkswagen’s system, the people said.

VW also may contribute its own autonomous technology, known as the Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit, the people said.

“The fact is, nobody can go it alone,” Autotrader’s Krebs said. “These are very expensive ventures with tremendous technological challenges. And the business challenge is just as difficult.”

L’agenzia di stampa Bloomberg contraddice le indiscrezioni riportate ieri da Reuters secondo cui le trattative tra Vw e Ford sarebbero ad un punto morto. Ieri una delegazione Vw è volata a Dearborn e sono stati superati molti ostacoli ( :? Che bel giorno di San Valentino). La divisione Argo di Ford verrebbe valutata 4 miliardi di euro, Vw porterebbe in dote la AIV (attualmente divisione per la guida autonoma interna ad Audi) e comprerebbe il 50% di Argo arrivando ad una quota paritetica con Ford. Per quanto riguarda la tecnologia MEB Ford ha già in sviluppo una piattaforma elettrica e non intende lanciare modelli ad alto volume perché ritiene che negli Stati Uniti la domanda sarà bassa. In Cina ed Europa invece sarebbe più conveniente sfruttare la tecnologia tedesca. Bloomberg prevede ancora mesi di trattative.


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