Tuesday Ticker: February 22, 2022

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— This week, Magna is feeling the effects of the Ambassador Bridge closure on top of an already rocky start to the year; Volkswagen and Huawei are reportedly considering a partnership in self-driving technology and Renault and Rivian vow never to dip their toes in the ocean.

Ambassador effects

Magna International is feeling the effects of the Ambassador Bridge blockages, according to CEO Swamy Kotagiri, who said some customers have had to halt or adjust production schedules as a result.

The closure of the Ambassador Bridge has cost the auto industry between $300 million and $600 million, according to various sources.

Magna shares have fallen more than 5% since the start of February⁠, in addition to having fallen nearly 10% since the start of the year.

The company also released its fourth quarter 2021 results on Feb. 11, sharing that its fourth quarter earnings and sales fell from the fourth quarter of 2020.

As of Friday’s close, Magna shares were trading at $98.71.

Autonomous partners

Volkswagen reportedly in talks to acquire self-driving unit from Huawei, German Store Manager reported via inside sources on Thursday

Leaders of the two groups have been negotiating the deal for several months, the report says, which also claims the deal involves technology systems that Volkswagen does not master.

Huawei’s standalone unit is within the telecom equipment and smartphone giant’s “Intelligent Vehicle Solutions” business unit, which started in 2019 and instead said it should be the “Bosch of China ” – a supplier of components for car manufacturers.

Last year, the company showcased its automated driving solutions, with technology pre-installed in a mass-produced sedan by Arcfox, a new electric vehicle brand from Chinese automaker BAIC. Huawei said it provided the vehicle’s chipset and in-car operating systems. He also claimed that the model, dubbed Alpha S, has achieved Level 4⁠ range, meaning the car won’t require human intervention in most scenarios.

Volkswagen’s self-driving ventures include a partnership with Pittsburgh-based startup Argo AI, which is also backed by Ford. The duo unveiled the fruit of their efforts last September⁠: an autonomous electric van.

In 2020, China was Volkswagen’s biggest market, so it makes sense that the automaker is looking for a similar technology partner there.

Volkswagen China and Huawei have yet to comment on this information.

marine metals

Rivian and French automaker Renault not only support a moratorium on deep-sea mining, but also exclude seabed metals from their supply chains, foregoing a potential opportunity to capitalize on demand for electric vehicles through to the use of materials such as cobalt, nickel and manganese.

Renault was the first to support the moratorium, later joined by US automaker Rivian, which said in an email to Reuters that it “shares the Deep Sea Conservation Coalitions’ goal of protecting our oceans”.

French President Emmanuel Macron has previously declared that the exploration of the seabed is a priority to access rare metals and better understand marine ecosystems. Critics, however, argue that such exploration could wipe out undiscovered species on the seabed.

Macron stopped short of fully endorsing seabed mining.

“I can already hear the debate coming⁠ – I’m not talking about exploitation right now, I’m talking about exploration,” he said in a hurry last October.

No seabed mining is permitted until global regulations are finalized by the United Nations International Seabed Authority. Companies that hold seabed exploration licenses, on the other hand, hope to eventually sell seabed metals to automakers.