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Silicon Valley’s Push Into Cars Is Testing Aptiv's Tech Makeover

Aptiv has morphed from bankrupt GM supplier to shrewd tech company. Now, as carmakers change their playbooks, it may have to adapt again. 

APTIV signage outside the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 2, 2021.

APTIV signage outside the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 2, 2021.

Source: NYSE

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When General Motors Corp. filed for bankruptcy and reorganized in 2009, the makings of a Wall Street darling emerged from the wreckage. Aptiv Plc, which grew out of the parts unit spun off from the iconic automaker, soared to $48 billion in market value earlier this year after transforming into a savvy technology company built for the shift toward electric, autonomous vehicles.

Now, though, the industry is being upended anew in ways that could challenge Aptiv. Carmakers, taking lessons from the chip shortage and the playbook of insurgent rival Tesla Inc., are moving software and engineering tasks in-house. Silicon Valley giants are elbowing into the sector, with the likes of Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp. seeing opportunity in cutting-edge vehicles that are essentially giant computers on wheels.