Qualcomm has its own vision for how Veoneer could help it move forward in the auto industry.
As the California bidder sees it, the proposed acquisition "reinforces the company's commitment to bring advanced technologies to the automotive industry and represents a natural extension of Qualcomm's digital chassis solutions.
"The proposed acquisition will bring together our industry-leading automotive solutions with Veoneer's assisted driving assets to deliver a competitive and open ADAS platform to automakers and Tier 1 suppliers at scale," the statement said, attributing the comment to CEO Cristiano Amon.
It used untraditional phrasing to refer to Qualcomm's growth in automotive, saying that Qualcomm now has a "revenue-design win pipeline of approximately $10 billion."
"As the automotive industry continues to transform, it is becoming increasingly important for automakers to have a partner who develops horizontal platforms that drive innovation and enable competition," it said.
Magna is certainly in no jeopardy if Qualcomm snatches the Veoneer prize from its hands. One outside financial executive familiar with Magna's strategic moves, who asked not to be identified, said that Magna has long been one of the best-managed suppliers in the world, adding that it is a testament to its strength that it was able to offer $3.8 billion in cash for Veoneer even after a year of pandemic complications and revenue-trimming customer shutdowns.
Magna is not merely in the metal stamping business — it is the largest "metal forming" supplier in the world. It is not merely in the transmission business — it is the world's largest independent producer of transmissions, as it is of four-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive systems.
It is the largest maker of side mirrors, by its own reckoning, and one of the largest producers of door latches. And even without acquiring Veoneer, it is one of the largest suppliers of camera-based ADAS systems.
"We're not saying you have to buy everything from Magna," Kotagiri said of the bigger future he wants for the company by linking together its component systems. "But we want to think farther out, and say how can we do this in a modular way? There's a huge addressable market to be had there and that's what we want from Veoneer."
There is also, he adds, a bigger role for Magna to play building vehicles for new companies who have their sights set on becoming vehicle manufacturers — "new entrants," as Kotagiri calls them.
Magna's vehicle-assembly subsidiary, Magna Steyr, produces complete vehicles on a contract basis in Austria, with customers that have included Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.
Magna has long wished for an opportunity to expand Steyr's production footprint to North America, if given a customer base that can commit to vehicle programs that last for several years.