New York The CEO of the US chip manufacturer Nvidia, Jensen Huang, emphasizes the great importance of the recently concluded development partnership with Mercedes-Benz. “Mercedes is an incredible partner. I can’t think of a better partner,“ he said on Thursday night.
“Mercedes will become the most valuable luxury brand on the planet. And they are technologically very far ahead,“ Huang continues. “Ola [Källenius] is a visionary, ” is his verdict on the CEO of the German car manufacturer.
Huang commented on the latest quarterly figures during a virtual press conference. These were weaker than expected: due to supply chain problems, Nvidia expects revenues of $ 8.1 billion in the current quarter, which is less than analysts expected. On the stock exchange, the stock nevertheless rose by more than five percent on Thursday.
One growth driver for the future is the car business. According to Huang, this will be “very important”. The division is still small: Nvidia generated sales of 566 million dollars in the segment in the financial year 2021, which is an increase of six percent. But over the next six years, they want to achieve revenues of eleven billion dollars, according to the Nvidia boss.
The partnership with Mercedes should also make this possible. As the Handelsblatt reported in February, both companies will increasingly offer software packages for automated driving functions together from 2024. Nvidia will be allowed to keep more than 40 percent of its revenues under a “revenue sharing” model – a novelty in the automotive industry.
The plan is being critically examined in Stuttgart, as the Swabians are thus entering a long-term and expensive dependence on Nvidia. For Nvidia, the project is highly lucrative.
On Thursday evening, Huang emphasized the advantages of the partnership for Mercedes at Handelsblatt’s request. Although man supplies 20 car companies with its own chips, eight robotaxi companies and seven truck manufacturers: “Our [Autostrategie] this is to help any company that wants to automate its systems.“
In the case of Mercedes, however, they are relying on a different business model – a “super deep” partnership. “The background is that we will build the data centers and the car computers together,” says Huang. We are working with Mercedes to develop the entire workflow and applications: “We will deliver this and equip Mercedes cars for the next 20 years.“
“We are working very hard to ensure that the best technology is used in the fleet,” Huang continues. “Mercedes will come first in many, many areas.“
Huang and Mercedes BOSS Källenius are good with each other, according to insiders. Just a day ago, the Swede posted a picture on the social network LinkedIn, which shows him with Huang – according to Källenius a “good friend” – at the wheel of a Mercedes.
According to observers, it is clear who sets the tone in the partnership. Mercedes is urgently dependent on the Nvidia chips, as the Swabians cannot design their own semiconductors like Tesla. Nvidia chips are considered the leader. The next generation of chips “Atlan” is to set new speed records.
When asked whether Mercedes will be the first automaker to receive the Atlan chips from 2025 due to the special partnership, Huang replies: “I have an even better surprise for you. I would say Mercedes has access to everything that Nvidia has.“