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Facebook's Plans for the Auto Industry, Explained

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On Thursday, social media giant Facebook’s (FB - Free Report) Chief Operating Officer and Lean In expert Sheryl Sandberg attended the opening ceremony of IAA car show in Frankfurt, Germany, and said some pretty interesting things about the company’s plans for the auto industry.

While whispers of Facebook’s potential entrance into the self-driving car market have swirled for a few years now, especially as other tech rivals like Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) and Uber and even Apple (AAPL - Free Report) are developing their own vehicles, the company has always dismissed rumors.

Today’s remarks were no different, though Facebook instead wants to forge a closer relationship with the auto industry, working with the likes of Daimler (DDAIF - Free Report) and Volkswagen (VLKAY - Free Report) .

“We come with very good news -- we’re the only company in Silicon Valley that’s not building a car,” said Sandberg, according to Bloomberg. “We have a lot to learn from you,” she continued. “We don’t have your history, we don’t have your staying power, even though we aspire to make it to 100 years.” Sandberg even described Facebook as a “teenager.”

Facebook may not be building a self-driving car, but the tech company is planning on working with auto leaders in related areas like artificial intelligence and helping the broader industry utilize various digital tools. Facebook has also joined the Munich-based Mobility Hub that is supported by Daimler, BMW (BAMXF - Free Report) , and SAP SE, notes Bloomberg.

Currently, FB is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank, and shares of the company are down about 1% in afternoon trading. Year-to-date, though, the stock has gained over 48%.

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