Westport (WPRT) & Volvo Launch JV to Boost HPDI Adoption

Westport Fuel Systems Inc. WPRT and Volvo Group have announced the closing and launch of their joint venture (JV) to accelerate the commercialization and global adoption of WPRT's High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) fuel system technology for long-haul and off-road applications. The JV, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, will be led on an interim basis by Dan Sceli, CEO of Westport, with Scott Baker as vice president, product development and technology officer, and Anders Johansson as vice president and commercial officer.

Per Dan Sceli, the JV would speed up the global commercial adoption of HPDI for OEMs by fully utilizing the HPDI fuel system. HPDI is ideally positioned to develop and implement cost-effective solutions in hard-to-abate sectors, such as heavy-duty transport and off-road applications.

The JV's board will comprise three members appointed by each company. The initial board members include Andrea Fuder, chief purchasing officer of Volvo Group; Dan Hancock, chair of Westport's board; Dan Sceli, CEO and director of WPRT and Karl Viktor Schaller, Westport’s board Member. Other members include Lars Stenqvist and Jan Ytterberg, chief technology officer and senior advisor of Volvo Group, respectively.

Operating as an independent entity, Westport will contribute HPDI assets, including intellectual property and fixed assets into the JV. Volvo Group has acquired a 45% interest in the JV for around $28 million, with up to an additional $45 million as an earn-out depending on the subsequent performance of the JV.

The HPDI system is a fully integrated OEM gaseous fuels system that allows diesel engines to operate with various clean-burning fuels, including natural gas, biomethane, hydrogen, LPG and methanol. This system maintains the performance and efficiency of the original diesel engine platform without any compromises.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

WPRT currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the auto space are Blue Bird Corporation BLBD, Oshkosh Corporation OSK and Geely Automobile Holdings Limited GELYY. While BLBD and OSK sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) each, GELYY carries Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The consensus estimate for BLBD’s 2024 sales and earnings suggests year-over-year growth of 17.29% and 155.14%, respectively. The EPS estimates for 2024 and 2025 have improved 63 cents and 69 cents, respectively, in the past 30 days.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OSK’s 2024 sales and earnings suggests year-over-year growth of 9.86% and 11.92%, respectively. The EPS estimates for 2024 and 2025 have improved 12 cents and 10 cents, respectively, in the past 30 days.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GELYY’s 2024 sales suggests year-over-year growth of 36.6%. The EPS estimates for 2024 and 2025 have moved up 21 cents and 34 cents, respectively, in the past 30 days.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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