GM Partners With Nikola
It was just last week when General Motors and Honda signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to establish a North American automotive alliance.
"This alliance will help both companies accelerate investment in future mobility innovation by freeing up additional resources," GM President Mark Reuss said. "Given our strong track record of collaboration, the companies would realize significant synergies in the development of today's vehicle portfolio."
GM started the week off with another announcement, once again teaming up with another auto manufacturer.
GM announced a strategic partnership with Nikola that will see GM produce the Nikola Badger by the end of 2022, while cost reductions will be carried through Nikola's other programs. Nikola will utilize GM’s Ultium battery system and Hydrotec fuel cell technology, marking a key commercialization milestone for GM.
As part of the deal, Nikola will exchange $2 billion in newly issued common stock for the in-kind services and access to GM’s global safety-tested and validated parts and components. The deal, which sees GM acquiring about an 11% stake, also gives GM the right to nominate one member to Nikola's board.
"Nikola is one of the most innovative companies in the world. General Motors is one of the top engineering and manufacturing companies in the world. You couldn’t dream of a better partnership than this," Nikola founder Trevor Milton said. "By joining together, we get access to their validated parts for all of our programs, General Motors’ Ultium battery technology and a multi-billion dollar fuel cell program ready for production."
The partnership with Nikola is the latest push into electric vehicles by GM. Last week's deal with Honda will see the two companies collaborate and combine their R&D efforts on future mobility technologies.
"This strategic partnership with Nikola, an industry leading disrupter, continues the broader deployment of General Motors’ all-new Ultium battery and Hydrotec fuel cell systems," GM CEO Mary Barra said. "We are growing our presence in multiple high-volume EV segments while building scale to lower battery and fuel cell costs and increase profitability."
Shares of both companies reacted well to the news before fading with the overall market late yesterday. Shares of Nikola gained more than 40% while shares of GM jumped nearly 8%.
With GM making aggressive moves to prove that it isn't going to be left behind as automobiles evolve, it will be interesting to see if GM makes more moves to compete in a crowded electric vehicle market.
Beyond Meat bets on China. Beyond Meat will open a production facility near Shanghai as the company focuses on expanding in the country. Beyond Meat's Chinese subsidiary, Beyond Meat (Jiaxing) Food, signed a pact with the Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone to open the facility, with full output expected in early 2021. "Beyond Meat Inc will be the first multinational company focused solely on plant-based meat production to bring its own major production facility into China," Beyond Meat said.
Microsoft to launch smaller Xbox. Microsoft confirmed it will introduce a cheaper version of its Xbox gaming console when the new generation of consoles are released later this year. The Xbox Series S will be the smallest Xbox ever made and will retail for $299. The Xbox Series S will compete with Sony’s PlayStation 5, with both expected to be released before the holiday shopping season.
You are the weakest link. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said those who choose not to take a vaccine for Covid-19 will become a "weak link" enabling the coronavirus to spread. Choosing to not take the vaccine "will affect the lives of others because if they don't vaccinate, they will become the weak link that will allow this virus to replicate," Bourla said. Bourla understands people's hesitancy to take a new vaccine, saying Pfizer will only request authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if a vaccine is proven to be safe and effective.
VW CEO denies rumors. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has denied rumors something may be in the works with Tesla after he was spotted giving Tesla CEO Elon Musk a ride in the new VW ID.3 electric car. "Just to be clear: We just drove the ID.3 and had a chat – there is no deal/cooperation in the making," Diess wrote on LinkedIn. Musk was in Germany visiting the site of Tesla's European gigafactory. Diess posted the video of the two driving, saying "It was great driving the ID.3 with you! You were just quite critical with the available torque at higher speed. I told you: 'Yes, we are on the runway – but no need for take off – it’s not a sports car.'"
Uber commits to electric vehicles. Uber announced all of the vehicles on its platform will be electric by 2040. The company also committed to spending $800 million through 2025 to help drivers make the switch, including discounts from partner auto manufacturers. Uber has more than five million drivers globally and has partnerships with General Motors and the Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi alliance. Vehicles operating on Uber's platform in the U.S., Canada and Europe will be zero-emission by 2030.