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July 4th, 2024 | 07:30 CEST

Innovation meets tradition: How Mercedes-Benz Group, Desert Gold, and Amazon are shaping the future

  • Mining
  • Gold
  • Commodities
  • Electromobility
  • Retail
Photo credits: Mercedes-Benz Group AG

The global economy is facing a variety of challenges and opportunities. While vehicle manufacturers such as Mercedes are adapting their strategies, new opportunities are opening up in other sectors. Mercedes is expanding the combustion engine range of its S-Class and offering models with both a petrol engine and an electric battery. The German Association of the Automotive Industry is concerned about the EU's punitive tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle imports. It predicts that the impending trade conflict will intensify, particularly with regard to rare earth metals. In these uncertain times, it is all the more important to add some gold to the portfolio as a hedge. One candidate with high growth potential is the exploration company Desert Gold, which is investigating an outstanding area with over 1 million ounces of gold resources in Mali, Africa. Those who prefer data to new gold will be pleased with Amazon's latest strategic move. The Seattle-based company has not only brought on board a smart AI leader but also the entire team along with AI. Where is an investment worthwhile?

time to read: 5 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka
ISIN: MERCEDES-BENZ GROUP AG | DE0007100000 , DESERT GOLD VENTURES | CA25039N4084 , AMAZON.COM INC. DL-_01 | US0231351067

Table of contents:


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    Mercedes-Benz Group: Combustion-powered S-Class remains on offer for longer

    The German vehicle manufacturer Mercedes is planning to continue production of the S-Class with a combustion engine beyond 2030, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, (FAZ), citing an interview with CEO Ola Källenius. Initially, the Company had planned to offer the luxury saloon in Europe exclusively as an electric vehicle from 2030. However, two variants of the S-Class are still to be developed: One with a conventional combustion engine and one with an electric drive. In an interview with FAZ, Källenius admits that Mercedes-Benz will be producing combustion engines "well into the thirties". Nevertheless, he emphasizes that, from today's perspective, "the battery-electric vehicle remains the main route"**.

    The debate about electric vehicles and trade policy goes beyond the Stuttgart-based company. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) recently spoke out against planned EU tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles. The VDA warns that such tariffs could affect European and US vehicle manufacturers exporting from China and provoke possible retaliatory measures from China.

    This would be particularly problematic for German industry, as the value of vehicle exports from Germany to China last year was more than three times higher than the value of imports from China. Chinese Premier Li Qiang, the number two figure in China after President Xi Jinping, recently snubbed the German Economy Minister by not attending a meeting. A public humiliation that was supposed to be sold to the German people as a "defense against a trade war".

    Instead, the VDA proposes focusing on access to critical raw materials and dismantling market access barriers. Investors should consider this in view of Germany's tense economic situation. Mercedes shares recorded a slight increase and are currently trading at EUR 65.37.

    Treasure of Gold in West Africa? Desert Gold's SMSZ project, with over 1 million ounces of resources

    Gold explorers offer an opportunity to diversify the investment portfolio. They often respond differently to market movements than traditional equities as they are closely linked to the gold price. Investments in gold explorers can serve as a hedge against inflation or economic uncertainties. Desert Gold Ventures is a gold exploration company focused on developing its high-grade gold deposits along the Senegal-Mali Fault Zone (SMFZ) in Western Mali. In 2015, revenue in this area amounted to around USD 1.2 billion.

    The African country Mali is renowned for its long gold mining tradition and is Africa's third largest gold producer. The country is also characterized by its low mining costs. Desert Gold leverages the favorable location of its properties in this mineral-rich region to develop promising gold projects. The SMSZ project has Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 310,300 oz gold at a grade of 1.14 g/t and Inferred Resources of 769,200 oz at 1.16 g/t.

    In the resource-rich environment, 23 gold zones have been discovered to date, with encouraging drill results, including 3.52 g/t gold over 33 m at Gourbassi West and 7.78 g/t gold over 19 m at Linnguekoto West. A 30,000-m drill program is planned this year, with a potential updated resource estimate in Q4.

    The Company offers investors an opportunity to participate in the gold market. Rising gold prices and increasing interest in gold resources could benefit share price performance. The project's location near established mines could also offer strategic advantages through collaborations and supply chain sharing.

    Amazon's AI coup: Adept acquisition accelerates tech race catch-up

    The e-commerce giant Amazon is stepping up its business developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). To this end, the Seattle-based company has recruited leading minds from the AI startup Adept, including co-founder and CEO David Luan. Amazon has also secured the license for Adept's technology, including their AI models and data sets. Adept, founded in 2022 by former OpenAI and Google engineers, specializes in AI agents that can perform complex tasks without human assistance. According to Prasad, licensing Adept's technology will accelerate the roadmap for developing digital agents that can automate software workflows.

    Luan will lead Amazon's "AGI Autonomy" division, reporting directly to Senior Vice President and Chief Developer Prasad. This department focuses on the development of autonomous systems. In addition to Luan, his co-founders from Adept will also make the move to Amazon. This team includes Augustus Odena, Maxwell Nye, Erich Elsen and Kelsey Szot. In addition, other Adept employees will also move to the e-commerce giant. The new workforce provided by the Adept experts is intended to strengthen Amazon's position in the highly competitive AI market. Competitors such as Microsoft and Google are already far ahead of the Company. Although Amazon has developed its own AI services, these are considered less advanced than those of its main competitors.

    The acquisition of Adept executives by Amazon is reminiscent of similar moves by competitors. In March, Microsoft hired Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google's DeepMind and later head of the startup Inflection AI. The war of talent has officially begun in the US.


    Mercedes is adapting its corporate strategy and adopting a two-pronged approach: the S-Class will have electric and combustion models beyond 2030. The VDA, on the other hand, warns of an increasing tightening of European punitive tariffs on imports of Chinese EVs. These measures would harm global companies, slow down the transition to low-carbon technologies and do nothing to strengthen the competitiveness of European manufacturers. Mercedes proves its ability to adapt, with the share price rising slightly. The exploration company Desert Gold owns areas in one of Mali's most promising gold regions, with proven resources already identified. An extensive drilling program is planned with results in Q4. An investment in explorers offers significant growth potential in uncertain times. Amazon is making a strategically valuable M&A move by simply acquiring the Adept team, including AI, and integrating it into its operations. The e-commerce giant would do well to catch up in the AI field, as competitors such as Microsoft and Alphabet have made powerful advances. This acquisition could help Amazon achieve that. The Company is so broadly positioned that it can convince with solid fundamental figures.


    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author



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