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Tuesday Ticker: November 23, 2021

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— This week, Ford and Rivian officially scrap plans to work together; news of potential release dates flurry around Apple’s rumoured EV project and AutoCanada grabs the eyes of market analysts with its latest acquisition.

Ford and Rivian announce breakup

In 2019, Ford invested a hefty sum of US$500 million in Rivian, later increasing that amount to US1.2 billion⁠—but the two companies will not build a vehicle together after all.

According to Automotive News, Ford CEO Jim Farley has found a new direction to transform the company into a high-volume EV manufacturer, and it won’t need Rivian to achieve that goal.

“Right now, we have growing confidence in our ability to win in the electric space,” Farley said in an interview on Nov. 18. “When you compare today with when we originally made that investment, so much has changed: about our ability, about the brand’s direction in both cases, and now it’s more certain to us what we have to do. We want to invest in Rivian—we love their future as a company⁠—but at this point, we’re going to develop our own vehicles.”

The companies first cancelled another project⁠—a Rivian-based Lincoln⁠—in April 2020.    

The OEM will now focus on manufacturing, supply chains and significant new investments, Farley said. He said the newly-announced battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky (129 GWh per year total) will not be enough.

“Already we need more than we planned,” Farley said. “I’m not going to give you a number, but it’s very clear we’ll have to move soon, and it will be more.”

Currently, Ford has three EVs in its arsenal: the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit and F-150 Lightning. Farley said the first goal is to  “make money on those products,” then the company will proceed forward.

 

All eyes on Apple

Bloomberg News reported last Friday that Apple is pushing to accelerate the development of its electric car, refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to sources familiar with the matter.

For the last two years, Apple has allegedly been exploring two simultaneous paths for its electric car: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration, or a version that employs full self-driving capabilities with no human intervention.

Under Apple Watch software exec Kevin Lynch, Apple’s engineers are now exploring the latter, said the company’s anonymous sources. They said Lynch is pushing for a debut as early as 2025. 

Following Bloomberg’s report, Apple shares gained as much at 2.4 percent, to US$157.23.  

 

On the rise

AutoCanada announced the acquisition of its first U.S.-based Stellantis dealership, located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, adding to the company’s already 13-facility-strong presence in the State.

The Canadian stock has gained 61 percent in 2021. In Q3 2021, the company reported revenue of $1.20 billion — up from $1.01 billion in the previous year. Meanwhile, net income rose to $38.0 million over $36.0 million in the third quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA delivered growth of 12% to $68.3 million. AutoCanada has managed to navigate a challenging environment, posting strong used vehicle sales and bolstering its presence in the United States.

Over the last two weeks, however, AutoCanada stocks have dipped more than 25 percent. 

“Investors may want to consider buying the dip in this stock over Tesla,” Canadian market analyst site the Motley Fool wrote Nov. 16.

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