Chinese smartphone giant Huawei has apparently broached the topic of software collaboration with a pair of German automotive companies. According to reports, Huawei wants to bust out of the situation in which it finds itself partnered on such projects solely with brands in China.
Per Reuters, the company – notably the target of American sanctions for the last five years or so – has held preliminary talks with Merc in an effort to place them at the helm of somewhere between 3 and 5 percent of Huawei’s Intelligent Automotive Solution (IAS) business unit. Talking heads value the joint at around $30 billion, making even a five percent stake worth over a billion dollars. Ze Germans seemed to have rebuffed the offer, citing a desire to remain in charge of its own software destiny instead of sloughing it off to a supplier.
Audi’s involvement is less clear, though it is worth noting there are rumblings of them and Huawei planning a partnership to develop new autonomous driving aids. However, anything which springs forth from that joint venture will apparently be installed only on Audi models sold in the Chinese market, where the company is tangled up with the FAW Group home team. Remember, the latter is a state-owned automobile manufacturer in a market where outside companies must forge some sort of partnership with a local outfit in order to get off the ground – at least in terms of car. GM is partnered with a group called SAIC for the same reason. Audi currently makes 9 different models in China, ranging from the A3 and Q2L to the A6L and e-tron.
Predictably, everyone involved has clammed up and there are precisely no official statements from either Merc or Audi – or Huawei, for that matter – about this potential collab. What’s you take? Should car companies shack up with tech giants in order to produce legible infotainment systems and the like? Or should they go it alone?
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