General Motors may have quietly made an acquisition for its Cruise division.
According to whispers heard by GM Authority this week, GM Cruise – General Motors’ robo-taxi division – purchased a small German firm. It’s unclear what the company being acquired specializes in, though it was described as being a “big asset” in bringing the Cruise Origin self-driving vehicle to market.
The name of the company company being acquired could be called “Alpine,” though GM spokesperson, Jim Cain, has confirmed to GM Authority that General Motors has not acquired such a company. As such, the name of the company being acquired remains a mystery.
The acquisition has yet to be officially announced, and German authorities have allegedly approved the purchase just a few days ago.
Tipsters tell GM Authority that regulatory approval was not expected until later this year, and that the company being acquired will be closed, and that its employees will be fully integrated into the GM Cruise organization. Current plans call for the firm to cease operations on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020.
No other details are available about the acquisition at this time, such as the name of the firm, the purpose of the acquisition or the transaction amount.
In January, General Motors‘ Cruise subsidiary – also known as GM Cruise, and previously known as Cruise Automation – announced its first fully autonomous vehicle, the Cruise Origin. The shuttle will go into production at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in the near future and will enable Cruise to launch its driverless ride-hailing service that’s being positioned as a competitor to existing ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. But unlike those apps, GM has the ability to own the entire “stack” – from developing the vehicle to operating the fleet and, ultimately, to profiting from the activities.
GM Cruise has been hard at work on the self-driving taxi service for the past several years. Formed as part of GM’s $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation in 2018, GM Cruise has been expanding its staff, which is primarily located in California, with the Cruise Origin being developed primarily in San Francisco. The subsidiary receives $250 million in investment per quarter ($1 billion per year) from parent General Motors Company.
As of the January-February timeframe, GM’s plans called for starting Cruise Origin production at D-HAM in 2022. It’s unclear whether the ongoing of the COVID-19 pandemic will have any impact on those plans at this time.