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



  • Reply 81 of 143

    Apple has never gotten into a business in which it could not differentiate itself and sell products with a strong profit margin. Chances are that before even putting together that top-secret research lab, Apple did some due diligence on the project to see how it could set itself apart from the competition.

  • Reply 82 of 143

    No one will buy iPhone --Steve B.

  • Reply 83 of 143
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    pfisher wrote: »

    They could wipe out everyone with low-margin devices: laptops, phones, tablets...

    But, in the end that would probably not be a sustainable business. And you don't want to be so big it's not feasible.

    Just to be clear I'm not agreeing with him that Apple's prices are outrageous. But the only reason these guys have a chance imo is because Apple has ceded the low end.
  • Reply 84 of 143
    There must be some truth to this if GM is reacting. My guess, Apple provides the tech and design and partners with a car company to build. Maybe a company that is used to making high quality vehicles.
  • Reply 85 of 143
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,315member

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    Just to be clear I'm not agreeing with him that Apple's prices are outrageous. But the only reason these guys have a chance imo is because Apple has ceded the low end.


    True. But I don't even know if Apple could lower the prices of their phones if they wanted to. I mean, they're barely managing to meet demand with the ASP as it is now. A cheap iPhone would wipe everything else off the map, the only issue would be that Apple would not be able to manufacture at that capacity. 

  • Reply 86 of 143
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    I can't believe car manufacturers get away with their bland and unimaginative products. I can actually imagine those "designers" making "vroom vroom" noises when drawing a car on their wacom tablet.

    Seriously. If you would ask me what my favourite car is, I'd say "Brompton".
  • Reply 87 of 143
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member

    double post

  • Reply 88 of 143
    If it's that bad why dont they get out of the auto business?

    It was interesting how he said Apple shareholders should be upset by this - sounds like he's trying to hit Tim Cook where it hurts. In my opinion, this is the best evidence that Apple really is making their own car. Also, all the points he made were not very good. Low margin? Apple will just charge more, or make it a taxi service.. Start in the major cities and grow to others. Also, if Apple makes an electric car, they'll have a much simpler job with the engine.
  • Reply 89 of 143
    morkymorky Posts: 192member

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post



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


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


  • Reply 90 of 143

    Maybe he is forgetting that cars are getting more and more to be computing devices and thats what Apple know about, and what existing car companies know squat about. integration and security. 


    I think Apple should buy the IP of TVR and use their designs. The only car company i have ever experienced that design like Apple do, down to putting the petrol cap in the boot so it doesn't spoil the outside lines of the car. Brilliant. The dash of the Cerbera is just pure genius too



    Either way, this guy just tanked his worth. Whats funny is that if Apple are getting into automotive, we won't see anything for about 3-4 years. Look how long the rumours about the Apple TV are floating about and how long the Apple Watch was in development. Event the iPad and iPhone started many many years before making an appearance. Thats the Apple way.

  • Reply 91 of 143

    Would be cool if Apple teamed up with Solar City and Musk to develop the home-scale battery technology that is to be revealed soon (this week?).

  • Reply 92 of 143
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Originally Posted by Ingela View Post


    I gotta say, as someone who has a business selling big heavy fragile products, I always thought it was genius of a company to sell millions of little gadgets with no  moving parts. Little gadgets with great margins. I think it's genius. 

    To go from that to jumping into selling heavy, fragile products and all the liabilities that go with it, and with much lower margins ...not so much. 

    How about fully integrated urban transportation systems that are completely flexible? Where the mode of transport is a specially designed vehicle integrated into the entire electronic system: from your iPhone to the zero emission vehicle picking up and delivering you and back again. The 80% of Americans that currently live in an urban area are arguably very underserved with point to point convenient, safe and environmentally friendly transportation. As a thought.

  • Reply 93 of 143

    Things people said Apple can't do and will fail at:

    - mass computer sales

    - smartphone

    - music & movie sales

    - music (mp3) player

    - TV/video/media player (AppleTV)

    - tablets

    - maps

    - watches*

    - possible car*


    *success remains to be seen -- so far Apple is batting close to a 1000

  • Reply 94 of 143
    I am glad this man is not an Apple shareholder, we don't need this type of trash investing in a premier company.As far as 'hairball' goes, it's GM vehicles that remind me hairballs.
  • Reply 95 of 143

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    Looks like I can be a CEO as well one day. I mean, look around, how good do you need to be¿

    Being a CEO's easy. Go to the KvK, declare your BV, voilà, you're a CEO.

    Being a good and successful CEO, now... that's quite another matter.

    If this guy thinks he can give lessons to Tim Cook, he's probably wrong. However, I'm pretty curious what he actually said. Too often does the press report only inaccurate or incomplete statements from people.

  • Reply 96 of 143
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,812member
    While I think Apple won't make an iCar, never disparage/mock its efforts.
  • Reply 97 of 143
    Because if anyone knows how to run a successful and innovative business model it's a CEO of GM?
  • Reply 98 of 143

     likens rumored Apple car program to 'trying to cough up a hairball'



    Albeit another diamond filled gold leafed hairball.

  • Reply 99 of 143
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,472moderator
    "If I were an Apple shareholder, I wouldn't be very happy. I would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing business."

    I wonder what he tells GM shareholders about the long-term prospect of being in a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing business.
    "[Apple] better think carefully if they want to get into the hard-core manufacturing," he added. "We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car. They have no idea what they're getting into if they get into that."

    They take raw aluminium and turn it into computers, they have some idea what they're getting into. They might even try to make them safer:

    "The Aston Martin DB9 is a supercar known for its association with James Bond. Jony had the car delivered to New York and drove it cross-country with his dad, Mike. It cost about $250,000, but just a month after he got it, Jony wrecked the car on Interstate 280 near San Bruno. The accident nearly killed him and his commuting partner, Daniele De Iuliis, who was riding in the passenger seat.
    “Jony was going pretty fast, although he said he was not going over 80 miles per hour,” said a colleague. “Something happened in the traffic. Jony lost control of the car, which went into a spin. It sling-shotted the back end, whacked into a panel truck and knocked that over, and went straight into the median. The whole car was smashed. They were lucky to get out alive. The car was a mess; totally fucked up on all sides.”
    The airbags went off, filling the car with the smell of the explosive that set off the airbags. Jony found the smell unsettling as he came to. “He woke up with the smell of gunpowder in the car and that was weird. He was distressed by that,” said another source. “Ironically, the car crash alerted Apple to how important Jony is to the company and they gave him a big pay raise.”"
    The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> <a href="">weighed in</a> later, claiming that Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the go-ahead for iPod and iPhone designer Steve Zadesky to assemble as many as 1,000 workers to make an electric car. Zadesky's group is though to be researching "robotics, metals and materials consistent with automobile manufacturing."

    Sapphire car coming up.


    If they outsource the manufacturing as they normally do then ramping up production would be straightforward. Magna International was named as a potential supplier and handles some of the manufacturing for Ford, Honda, Mercedes, BMW, VW, Toyota, GM and Tesla.

    They can build their own batteries with non-flammable electrolytes:

    They have more cash to invest in building battery switching stations and they can power their underground EV charging car park from solar.
  • Reply 100 of 143

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    Yeah, I'm sure the telecom industry said the same thing when Apple decided to make a phone in-house.

    I believe you're right. Seems someone said something about Apple having no experience in the telcom business, the margins are thin due to the amount of established competition, and besides, "The telcos dictate everything to the cell phone manufacturers and won't give up that power to anyone."


    Various leaders in the cell phone industry had their little laugh and then were handed their asses on a plate. Apple did what everyone in the industry thought was impossible, and now they rule.

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