Toronto, Ontario — This week’s Tuesday Ticker is all about automakers as rumours swirl around a potential Volkswagen battery division IPO; Ford crosses US$100 billion valuation for the first time ever and Toyota kicks General Motors out as 2021’s top-selling automaker in the United States.
Volkswagen could soon list its battery division in an initial public offering, according to a hint from Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management for Volkswagen.
In Dec. 2021, rumours began circulating that Volkswagen Group planned to consolidate its battery-related activities along the entire value chain into a new European battery company, complete with cell production and six battery gigafactories by 2030.
“If unit sales of electric vehicles grow the way we expect it would make sense to bring on board, external investors. But we want to remain at the steering wheel,” Schmall told newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
Schmall said that in the long-term the company could imagine supplying rivals with its battery cells.
“We want to set a standard for our industry,” he was quoted stating.
Ford’s big charge
Ford’s market valuation has been pushed above US$100bn for the first time ever, and the automaker is thanking its electric push for the achievement.
With the highly anticipated F-150 Lightning—of which Ford has vastly outsold its supply, doubling its planned production on the electric pickup—the automaker has seen its shares rise steadily, particularly in the 15-month period since Jim Farley ascended as CEO.
“I’m proud the company is getting recognized for our commitment to electrification,” Farley told Bloomberg. “The market is saying we like this Ford move into battery-electric and we have more confidence in the delivery of the base business. We like that they’re moving now to scale while others are years away.”
Ford’s market cap may exceed its Detroit neighbour General Motors, as well as EV startup Rivian, the company still lags far behind Tesla, which is currently valued by investors at more than US$1 trillion.
The automaker plans to produce 150,000 F-150 Lightning models and has stopped taking reservations from U.S. dealers ahead of its arrival this spring.
Toyota at the top
In the United States, Toyota overtook General Motors as the top-selling automaker of 2021, the first time an automaker based outside the U.S. has captured a position GM has held since 1931.
The Japanese automaker sold 2.33 million vehicles for the full year, up 10 percent from 2020, GM’s U.S. sales totalled 2.22 million units, a 13 percent decline from the previous year.
Toyota Canada said 27.7 percent of its total sales for 2021 were from its electric lineup. Coming in as the number-three automaker in Canada, Toyota’s Canadian operations sold 225,215 units in 2021, 62,460 of which were electrified models.