Amazon.com Inc. is partnering with Stellantis NV to develop software and agreed to buy a new electric delivery van in a move that may provide competition for Rivian Automotive Inc. that is also building EVs for the world’s largest e-commerce company.
The maker of Jeep, Chrysler and Fiat brands will work on digital technology with Amazon and use its cloud services, according to a joint statement Wednesday. The online retailer will also be the first commercial customer for the new Ram ProMaster electric delivery vehicle due in 2023.
“We will create the foundation for Stellantis to transform from a traditional automaker into a global leader in software-driven development and engineering,” Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said in the statement.
The announcement at the CES consumer tech show in Las Vegas comes after Stellantis last month outlined plans to generate about 20 billion euros ($23 billion) in extra revenue from software-driven features in its vehicles by the end of the decade. The deal with Amazon adds another partner to a roster that already includes Foxconn Technology Group, Waymo and BMW AG to build three new tech platforms by 2024.
Amazon Web Services is by far the leader in the business of providing rented computing infrastructure and serves companies in virtually every industry. AWS chief Adam Selipsky recently unveiled plans to tailor more products to specific sectors such as the health care, automotive and telecommunications industries.
Stellantis declined to say how many all-electric Ram models that have been co-developed with Amazon would be supplied. Since 2018 the automaker has delivered “several tens of thousands” vehicles to the company, software head Yves Bonnefont said on a call with reporters.
Rivian Automotive Inc., where Amazon is a major investor, slipped on its partner’s move to select Ram delivery vans. Amazon already has an order for 100,000 of Rivian’s electric vehicles with the first 10,000 units due by the end of this year and the rest by the end of the decade.
As part of the deal, the world’s biggest logistics company isn’t bound to buy any of the EV vans and can work with any other automotive partners it chooses. Rivian fell as much as 5.7%.
On Wednesday, Stellantis and Amazon said they will work on software solutions for the digital cabin platform called STLA SmartCockpit starting in 2024. The technology will focus on infotainment and be added to EVs equipped with autonomous features as the industry shifts away from conventional motors.
Stellantis’s focus on revenue from software downloads and updates for services like navigation systems and maintenance shows how computer code is fast becoming the next battleground. The Amsterdam-based manufacturer has said it’s aiming for “tech industry margins” from selling software.
Overall, Stellantis plans to spend 30 billion euros by mid-decade on electrification and software.
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