General Motors and SoftBank have announced a substantial investment into GM Cruise, the automaker’s autonomous vehicle division. The investment, valued at $2.25 billion, will give GM additional flexibility in capital allocation and strengthen the company’s plans to commercialize autonomous vehicle technology.
“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. We are very impressed by the advances made by the Cruise and GM teams, and are thrilled to help them lead a historic transformation of the automobile industry.”
“We’re excited to be joining forces with a tech leader who shares our belief that AV technology will change the world,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “We look forward to partnering with SoftBank as we work toward deploying this technology safely and in massive scale.”
As part of the deal GM is also agreeing to invest $1.1 billion into its GM Cruise division as a supplement to the SoftBank investment. SoftBank will provide its capital injection in two tranches; a $900 million investment up front and an additional $1.35 billion when the Cruise AV is ready for commercial deployment.
At the conclusion of the investment, SoftBank Vision Fund will own a 19.6 percent equity stake in GM Cruise.