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Tuesday Ticker: February 8, 2022

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— In this weekly Tuesday Ticker, Magna makes its moves into the autonomous technology realm with its acquisition of Optimus Ride; an Ontario based auction house marks a stellar start to 2022 and Ford dog-ears huge sums for EV development.

Magna moves into autonomous tech
Magna International has hired more than 120 employees of Optimus Ride, a provider of autonomous vehicle and mobility solutions, with a goal of “enhanc[ing] Magna’s capabilities in the field of advanced driver assistance systems.”

Aurora, Ontario-based Magna International acquired the technology, intellectual property and other assets from Optimus Ride in early January. The company first opened its doors in 2015 and produced a low-speed, electric, autonomous shuttle the following year in 2016.

Headquartered in Boston, Optimus Ride began testing its vehicles in 2017 and launched its inaugural pilot program for residential community mobility in a local Massachusetts community.

In July 2021, the company was awarded $4.3 million by the Department of Energy to deploy its autonomous fleets and conduct AV research with Clemson University, UC Berkeley and Argonne National Labs.

“Growing our engineering bench strength in sensing hardware and software helps accelerate our path forward in a rapidly growing ADAS market,” said John O’Hara, president of Magna Electronics.

The deal comes after Magna’s summer 2021 deal with Veoneer fell through. Magna had put forth a bid to acquire the company for $31.24 per share in August 2021, but Qualcomm Inc. won the deal with a bid of $37 per share.

As of Monday at noon, shares of Magna International were trading at 101.29 per share on the TSE.

Sweet sales for Sotheby’s
Ontario-based auction company RM Sotheby’s cleaned up at its first auction of the year, garnering $43.3 million in sales and 95 percent of its lots at the auction sold.

RM Sotheby’s said bidders at the company’s 23rd annual Arizona event hailed from 30 different countries, and 24 percent of bidders were first-time clients.

The clear star of the sale⁠ was a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing, which sold for $6.8 million.

Ford fuels up…or does it?
Ford is spending as much as $20 billion to reorganize its business for the electric era, Bloomberg reported last week.

The investment, set to sit somewhere between $10 billion and $20 billion, will be spread out over the next five to ten years and will see the automkaer convert its global factories for EV production.

The automaker is reportedly also pondering whether to spin off its EV business as a special acquisition company (SPAC) to attract more investment.

Ford had previously said it would spend $30 billion on electric and autonomous vehicle development by 2025.

The automaker’s latest push toward EVs is being led by a former executive of Apple Inc. and Tesla, said Bloomberg’s report.

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