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Bezos bernimmt Zoox fr 1,2 Milliarden US-Dollar
Online retailers are increasingly focusing on sustainability
Amazon has a different goal than Tesla
After Alphabet and Apple, Amazon is now also the third major US tech group to be active in the field of autonomous driving. With this, Jeff Bezos is gradually penetrating the lucrative territory of Elon Musk and discovers a new division for his company, which should ensure further growth in the future.
A new growth market for Amazon
Already at the beginning of 2019, Amazon caused excitement within the automotive scene with its investment in the US startup Aurora. The company, which was founded in 2017 and focuses on the development of self-driving cars, is considered a real insider tip in the sector. Because the three Aurora founders Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell are considered true professionals in the field of autonomous driving. While Urmson and Bagnell developed self-driving vehicles for Google and Uber, Anderson has even been involved in the creation of the Tesla autopilot. Accordingly, the trio is already considered the ultimate in the whole scene.
With an estimated three-digit million amount, Amazon has already bought into the very lucrative industry in the course of the second round of financing from Aurora in early 2019. The participation of the liquidity-rich e-commerce giant is also a real stroke of luck for the three Aurora founders. “We try to be strategic, and we have people at the table who share the vision of where we want to go as a company, who understand how difficult the problem is – this is not a short-term game – and who know how we end up will need more capital, “said Mitgrnder Urmson in an interview with the tech portal TechCrunch.
The big vision of Jeff Bezos
For Jeff Bezos, being part of Aurora was just the beginning of a bigger vision. The US billionaire is not only interested in self-driving cars, but also in electric delivery vans, which enable climate-friendly delivery of customer orders. The online retailer ordered a total of 100,000 electric vans from the US startup Rivian at the end of September 2019.
Our fleet is Electrifying! Thrilled to announce the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles – the largest order of electric delivery vehicles ever. Look out for the new vans starting in 2021. pic.twitter.com/y5qYpuy2WP
– Dave Clark (@davehclark) September 19, 2019
With the help of these vans, which are to be delivered for the first time in 2021, Bezos wants to make his company completely climate-neutral by 2040. The mega order to the newcomer from Detroit, however, was not entirely unsanitary even for Amazon. Because a good six months before the major order, the e-commerce giant invested the equivalent of around 640 million euros in Rivian and now benefits from the order itself.
Amazon wants to make its business more sustainable and make a positive contribution to environmental and climate protection, which is also expected and required by more and more customers of the group. “If we succeed and replace gasoline with electric vehicles, we will take a giant step forward and make our package delivery service even more sustainable. And it will have a positive impact on the environment,” said Ross Rachey, chairman of Amazon’s Global Fleet , at the presentation of the Rivian van.
1.2 billion for Zoox – the third investment in the automotive sector
As US media reported at the end of June 2020, Amazon has now expanded its commitment to autonomous mobility even further. After the investments in Aurora and Rivian, the takeover of the American start-up Zoox, which is said to have cost around $ 1.2 billion, is now the third major investment by the e-commerce giant in the automotive industry.
With the purchase of Zoox, Amazon not only secures a team of around 1,000 employees, but also additional know-how in the area of autonomous mobility as well as various software and hardware solutions. The company, which was only founded in 2014 by the American Jesse Levinson and the Australian Tim Kentley-Klay, has developed an autonomous driving technology that converts classic cars into a kind of self-driving robot with the help of an upgrade. The original goal of the two founders was to build a nationwide Robotaxi fleet using this technology.
With a transaction volume of $ 1.2 billion, the purchase of Zoox is now the most expensive acquisition in Amazon’s history. However, if you consider that the startup was valued by investors in 2018 at a total of $ 3.2 billion, it quickly becomes clear what possible bargains Bezos has made with the acquisition.
Is Amazon now competing with Tesla?
Amazon’s massive involvement in the field of electromobility and autonomous mobility over the past two years is now worrying more and more Tesla shareholders who increasingly see their group’s supremacy as a necessity. On closer analysis, however, it is obvious that Amazon will use the purchased technology and the expert knowledge of the three startups to build its own logistics network more efficiently, more sustainably and with a promising future. Because a combination between the applications of Zoox and Aurora and the e-vans from Rivian would allow Amazon in the distant future not only to deliver packages quickly and neutrally, but also completely without human intervention.
In contrast, Elon Musk currently focuses more on the development and production of futuristic e-cars, which will replace all conventional combustion engines in the mass market and in the luxury segment in the future. Accordingly, Amazon is not yet a major competitor to Tesla at the moment, but this could change due to further acquisitions and takeovers. If Jeff Bezos, for example, soon sees it as lucrative to invest the high cash flows that Amazon generates month by month in the expansion of his own automotive division, which in addition to vans also produces ordinary cars, the e-commerce giant could also do it Tesla rivals are blossoming.
With a 52-week course performance of over 400 percent for Tesla shares and almost 50 percent for Amazon paper, there are currently no signs of tense competition.
Pierre Bonnet / finanzen.net
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