GM to commercialise AV technology with $2.25 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 31 May 2018


GM takes next step toward future with self-driving vehicle manufacturing in Michigan

General Motors announced today that the SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion (Rs 15,158 crore) in GM Cruise holdings (GM Cruise), further strengthening the company’s plans to commercialise Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology at large scale. GM will also invest $1.1 billion (Rs 7,409 crore) in GM Cruise upon closing of the transaction. As per the official release, the capital is said to arrive by the beginning of 2019.

“Our Cruise and GM teams together have made tremendous progress over the last two years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

“GM has made significant progress toward realizing the dream of completely automated driving to dramatically reduce fatalities, emissions and congestion,” said Michael Ronen, managing partner, SoftBank investment advisers. “The GM Cruise approach of a fully integrated hardware and software stack gives it a unique competitive advantage. GM President Dan Ammann said, “We look forward to partnering with SoftBank as we work toward deploying AV technology safely and in a massive scale.”

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General Motors President Dan Ammann (left) and GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra (right) give SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner Michael Ronen a closer look at the Cruise AV in Detroit, Michigan. 

The SoftBank Vision Fund investment will be made in two tranches. At the closing of the transaction, the Vision Fund will invest the first tranche of $900 million (Rs 6,061 crore). At the time that Cruise AVs are ready for commercial deployment, the Vision Fund will complete the second tranche of $1.35 billion (Rs 9,092 crore), subject to regulatory approval. Together, this will result in the SoftBank Vision Fund owning a 19.6-percent equity stake in GM Cruise and will afford GM increased flexibility with respect to capital allocation.