Cruise, GMs R&D arm has made it quite clear that there is a race to acquire. It’s been revealed that during the process of negotiations between Amazon and Zoox, Cruise had approached Zoox for a $1.05bn take over. This clearly highlights a number of things;
- Cruise was keeping an eagle eye on Zoox
- Cruise already either had ambitions of a takeover or felt compelled to before anyone else did.
- They offered a price which was below Amazons, possibly with softer and better terms of agreement than Amazon.
Reuters reported that shortly after the disagreement a Cruise founder in a brazen act offered Zoox engineers job offers. The offer with Amazon to Zoox had pitted a few employees against the decision leaving some to go to Waymo. However, Amazon clearly knew what they were buying locking down two key employees and ensuring they were under the flag of Amazon within the deal.
GM will see this as a huge strategic loss as finding talent within the Autonomous Vehicle space is sparse, to say the least. In a Forbes article released today, Brad Templeton suggested what I had also written in my article at the beginning of this week that Amazon had bought Zoox as an acquihire, consuming the 900 employee startup like the behemoth Amazon is. Similarly to how it consumed Souq.com and kept its name for two years then ditched it.
The GM share price has been suffering since the beginning of the pandemic within America and whilst other companies such as Amazon, Tesla and other tech companies have rallied to new heights, its movements on the charts have been somewhat lukewarm. It will be interesting to note the burn rate of Cruise and how long GM can continue to bankroll the operation.