Retired GM chief Dan Akerson likens rumored Apple car program to 'trying to cough up a hairball'

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 143
    He does look like Steve Ballmer.

    "iPhone?! BWWAAAAHAHA! A $600 phone?! Gimme a break!"
  • Reply 62 of 143

    His insecurity is on full display with a comment like that about a rumor.

  • Reply 63 of 143
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,747member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post



    To be fair, there are a few things that worry me about an Apple automobile. A car has a lot of moving parts and is exposed to some extremely harsh environments. Wheels and engine parts move at high speed. There is a lot of vibration and the entire thing must work even if partially submerged in water. The iPhone cannot stand even a damp environment and routinely breaks if exposed to any kind of drop or stress. Many automobile failure modes only appear after many hours of use and then can be deadly. I am not saying that Apple or even Google could not make a self driving car. I am saying that it will take some time for them to learn to make a good one.



    You think if Apple builds a car, they won't hire the best automotive and automotive production engineers out there and instead have their existing corps of engineers and technologists do the job?  Are you nuts?

     

    If Apple builds their own assembly plant, and I don't think they will, I think they'll contract it out. --and that's assuming they go into the car business in the first place, they will hire the best car mfg guys around, probably people well-versed in Toyota-style lean manufacturing and give them at least 5 years to design and build the most advanced car assembly plant in the world.

  • Reply 64 of 143
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,747member
    Oops.

  • Reply 65 of 143
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,315member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    LOL.  I think you are my favorite poster here.


     

    Thanks! I can die happy :)

     

    I just call 'em as I see 'em. 

  • Reply 66 of 143
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,315member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post



    To be fair, there are a few things that worry me about an Apple automobile. A car has a lot of moving parts and is exposed to some extremely harsh environments. Wheels and engine parts move at high speed. There is a lot of vibration and the entire thing must work even if partially submerged in water. The iPhone cannot stand even a damp environment and routinely breaks if exposed to any kind of drop or stress. Many automobile failure modes only appear after many hours of use and then can be deadly. I am not saying that Apple or even Google could not make a self driving car. I am saying that it will take some time for them to learn to make a good one.

     

    You should email Apple with these concerns. No doubt they were just planning to make a massive, rideable iPhone and have not thought of this stuff. 

  • Reply 67 of 143
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,747member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by redhanded View Post



    Apple were getting into a growth industry when they brought out the iPhone. Cars aren't a growth industry, in developed economies anyway.

     

     

    Internal combustion engine cars might not be a growth industry.  But electric cars (fuel cell and battery) is still a nascent industry.  This is the time to get into it, if you want to get into it.

  • Reply 68 of 143
    I'm not crazy about Apple getting into the automobile business, either. However, if they do, it would be an electric car, which would make the engineering easier than the type of car Akerson is probably referring to. Apple designs things, it doesn't manufactor things - I hope they keep this business model.
  • Reply 69 of 143
    Dan Akerson… Wasn't he one of the "Ghostbusters"?!? :D
  • Reply 70 of 143
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,823member

    That's the same sort of crap that was dished on the public by competitors after the original iPhone announcement in January 2007, during the six months prior to Apple shipping the greatest technological innovation ever.

    Now, an Apple car is far more than six months away--there's been no announcement from Apple after all--but nobody should ever believe they can't be replaced--least of all GM.  GM killed the electric car because of union pressure.  Electric cars just don't have the maintenance requirements of combustion engines--or hybrids! Due to its efficiency, electric is ultimately destined to win the majority marketshare.

  • Reply 71 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    That's the same sort of crap that was dished on the public by competitors after the original iPhone announcement in January 2007, during the six months prior to Apple shipping the greatest technological innovation ever.

    Now, an Apple car is far more than six months away--there's been no announcement from Apple after all--but nobody should ever believe they can't be replaced--least of all GM.




    Link for details and laughs

  • Reply 72 of 143
    pfisher wrote: »

    Yes, but aren't electric cars a lot simpler? They don't have engines, but motors. They don't need a lot of what gas-powered cars need.

    He was probably thinking of a steam engine powered by burning coal.
  • Reply 73 of 143
    Reminds me of Ed Colligan's (Ex-Palm CEO) comments on Apple's ability to produce a phone in November of 2006.

    "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."
  • Reply 74 of 143

    It's deja vu time again folks. 

  • Reply 75 of 143
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Dan sounds and looks like Steve (Balmer).

    "We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into a car ..."
    Ha ha, steel, modern cars are made of aluminium, carbon fibre and (reinforced) plastic, and in Apples case liquid metal.

    When Apple gets into the car business it's a done deal for GM and most others.
  • Reply 76 of 143
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,428member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redhanded View Post



    Apple were getting into a growth industry when they brought out the iPhone. Cars aren't a growth industry, in developed economies anyway.

     

    Phones weren't not a growth industry, but smart phones were...

     

    Cars are not a growth industry, but electric cars are.

  • Reply 77 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post



    A couple points to comment on...first, are we 100% sure Apple is getting into this full tilt? 

     

    theres absolutely nothing to be sure about, this is a rumor on a rumors site.

  • Reply 78 of 143
    It seems to be that I've heard other CEOs talk about Apple the same way. For example, Palm's CEO said Apple doesn't know what it was getting into when it built the first iPhone.

    Obviously, Apple did pretty well with the iPhone.

    Heck, cars these days are computers on wheels. In fact, the average GM car has 27 computers in it.

    Apple can easily hire the brain power to develop cars.

    Certainly, Apple's manufacturing partners - Foxconn, etc. - can build Apple's car in the millions - while giving Apple a huge profit margin. They have hundreds of thousands of well-trained engineers to get the job done - certainly far better than can be accomplished by GM's manufacturing plants.

    Worse comes to worse, Apple can simply BUY BMW for $64 BILLION. BMW makes $11 BILLION in profit each year and sells 1.8 million luxury cars each year. BMW is currently making electric cars to fight Tesla while making much more profit that Tesla will ever see. Apple can then switch the manufacturing over to electric cars and increase the economies of scale and efficiency and shoot up the profit margin of BMW to Apple standards.

    Certainly by then GM's CEO would see the folly in his remarks.
  • Reply 79 of 143
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    barthrh wrote: »

    Thanks, stupidity beyond belief.
  • Reply 80 of 143
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,428member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Elroy6 View Post



    I'm not crazy about Apple getting into the automobile business, either. However, if they do, it would be an electric car, which would make the engineering easier than the type of car Akerson is probably referring to. Apple designs things, it doesn't manufactor things - I hope they keep this business model.



    Apple switched to this model in the mid-90's when they needed to cut costs. Prior to then, Apple built all their own computers/products. It's safe to say Apple is not in financial trouble anymore. They could return to building their own products where scale isn't a concern - just as they've done with the Mac Pro.

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