It makes sense that ride-hailing app Uber got started when the American auto industry was distracted. In 2009, when Uber was founded, the U.S. economy was tanking and U.S. automakers were on the brink of bankruptcy. They missed the fact that the country is gravitating to a world of “mobility,” where not everyone needs a car.
The auto industry is well aware of that trend now – they’re even calling themselves mobility companies and talking about disrupting themselves. So are investors: Uber is worth $62 billion. That’s significantly higher than the market caps of Ford Motor Co. (f) and General Motors (gm), even though Uber generates at least $145 billion less in revenue.
So are big tech companies: Google parent Alphabet (goog), which has been working on self-driving cars since 2009, now has enough cash on hand to buy Ford or GM outright if it wanted to. Apple (aapl), which is widely rumored to be working on its own car, could buy them both plus Fiat-Chrysler in a Big Three value pack.