Apple should work with carmakers instead of building vehicle on its own, Fiat Chrysler CEO says

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in Future Apple Hardware
Apple should collaborate with existing carmakers, tapping their experience, instead of trying to build its own car single-handedly, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler said at this week's Geneva International Motor Show.




Carmakers already have the capacity to deal with Apple's needs, and turning to them would make more sense in such a "complex business," Sergio Marchionne told journalists at the show, according to Reuters. The executive further compared the idea of a self-made "Apple Car" to an illness.

"If they have any urges to make a car, I'd advise them to lie down and wait until the feeling passes," he said. "Illnesses like this come and go, you will recover from them, they're not lethal."

Apple is believed to be working on an electric car for launch in 2019 or 2020. The company may need to partner up for manufacturing -- given the cost, scale, and complexity involved -- but is thought to be handling design without outside help, at least so far. One possible manufacturing partner could be BMW, which has allegedly been in talks.

In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook wouldn't directly acknowledge car development (believed to be underway as "Project Titan"), and suggested that even if the company has hundreds of people working on a concept, that could still constitute exploration rather than commitment.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    Maybe Fiat Chrysler should file a motion to compel Apple to work with them.
    nolamacguySpamSandwichjamielhydrogen5150iiiequality72521palominetorusoftibilljbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 59
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,949member
    I've never advocated for Apple to do a big buy, but if they did, I'd pick BMW as the first; just a great product line.
  • Reply 3 of 59
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 282member
    Getting predictable after iPod and iPhone... CEO's advising against Apple doing it (themselves).
    badmonkjamielpalomineh2pjony0tdknox
  • Reply 4 of 59
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,926member
    In other words, buy us. He' been trying to find a merger partner for a while.
    cornchipjony0redgeminipa
  • Reply 5 of 59
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 832member
    Who said Apple would do it alone at the end of the day?  So an electric car is not much different than Apple's other product lines...computer, battery technology are the things that challenge conventional car manufacturers and these things (plus indistrial design) are Apple strong points.

    An electric engine, chassis, wheels, brakes and steering seem like the issues they may need outside help with.  But they can buy these intellectual sets on the market.

    Manufacturing will be a non-issue as this will be contracted out as usual.

    Without labor costs, a bloated executive class and legacy retirement funds to worry about, Apple will do fine.
    anantksundaramh2pjbdragoncornchipjony0redgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,411member
    mike1 said:
    In other words, buy us. He' been trying to find a merger partner for a while.
    Fiat-Chrysler should be among the last on the list for Apple (along with GM).
    jamielrob53jbdragoncornchipredgeminipa
  • Reply 7 of 59
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,086member
    What new ideas have come out of the major car makers since Henry Ford's days? Not much. The only differences are cosmetic and a few engine upgrades. Nothing major. Tesla made a huge leap with better batteries and a power system that puts ICE vehicles to shame. Give Apple a chance to use its engineering and design abilities to see what they can do before blowing them off. 
    jbdragoncornchipredgeminipatdknox
  • Reply 8 of 59
    If I were starting a car business I would seek out the advice of the people running Fiat Chrysler and do the exact opposite. How they manage to stay in business while selling cars that self-destroy at 80,000 miles is mind boggling.
    anantksundaramh2pjbdragonjoshacornchipredgeminipatdknox
  • Reply 9 of 59
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 299member
    badmonk said:
    Who said Apple would do it alone at the end of the day?  So an electric car is not much different than Apple's other product lines...computer, battery technology are the things that challenge conventional car manufacturers and these things (plus indistrial design) are Apple strong points.

    An electric engine, chassis, wheels, brakes and steering seem like the issues they may need outside help with.  But they can buy these intellectual sets on the market.

    Manufacturing will be a non-issue as this will be contracted out as usual.

    Without labor costs, a bloated executive class and legacy retirement funds to worry about, Apple will do fine.

    Of course there's labor cost - it's just part of the manufacturing outsourcing you speak of.  But who would they outsource assembly to?  It's not like there are generic "car assembly" plants around - the ones that exist belong to existing car manufacturers who would hardly agree to manufacture a competitor's car!

    I doubt Apple will ever build a car - the margins aren't anywhere near what it currently gets.  I think they'll simply expand CarPlay to include options such as "driverless car".
    josha
  • Reply 10 of 59
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    mike1 said:
    In other words, buy us. He' been trying to find a merger partner for a while.
    Fiat-Chrysler should be among the last on the list for Apple (along with GM).
    Considering the entire business model of the US car industry is "lose money on the sale, recover it on the financing"

    Partnering with Toyota/Lexus would be preferable to any US company short of Tesla itself. 
    realistic
  • Reply 11 of 59
    We keep hearing these c-level people in the auto industry tell us how bad it is in the industry.
    Why do they keep going if it's so bad and so complex that it's not even worth a try form someone like Apple?
    I mean, there's no way Apple could make a car right? They just don't have the skills, knowledge, or money to make such a thing.... wait, they actually do have all of that.
    cornchipredgeminipa
  • Reply 12 of 59
    I think Apple's value will only rise based on Apple going it alone on a product. Apple is a company that needs to come out with a product that will be 100% Apple and not diluted by some other company. Building components that are used by other companies is fine for a steady revenue stream but that's not going to excite investors into buying Apple. Apple really needs its own car to keep the company on top. Apple just needs to poach engineers from other car companies and farm out the manufacturing. In the end, the vehicle Apple puts out has to have a genuine Apple logo on it. I really don't see how building a car is more complex than building a high-end smartphone. Rivals who are always saying some company can't do it alone can't be taken seriously. It may be harder to go it alone but it's not impossible. You don't need a large company to build a winning F1 or LMP race car and I'm sure they're more complicated to build than a standard street car. Usually they just need a few good engineers and really deep pockets.
    cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 59
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 282member
    tjwolf said:
    badmonk said:
    Who said Apple would do it alone at the end of the day?  So an electric car is not much different than Apple's other product lines...computer, battery technology are the things that challenge conventional car manufacturers and these things (plus indistrial design) are Apple strong points.

    An electric engine, chassis, wheels, brakes and steering seem like the issues they may need outside help with.  But they can buy these intellectual sets on the market.

    Manufacturing will be a non-issue as this will be contracted out as usual.

    Without labor costs, a bloated executive class and legacy retirement funds to worry about, Apple will do fine.

    Of course there's labor cost - it's just part of the manufacturing outsourcing you speak of.  But who would they outsource assembly to?  It's not like there are generic "car assembly" plants around - the ones that exist belong to existing car manufacturers who would hardly agree to manufacture a competitor's car!

    I doubt Apple will ever build a car - the margins aren't anywhere near what it currently gets.  I think they'll simply expand CarPlay to include options such as "driverless car".
    Think there're generic "car assembly" plants around. Know about an assembly line who makes the new (BMW) Mini (after first "making" DAF, Volvo, Mitsubishi)
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 59
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,155member
    tmay said:
    I've never advocated for Apple to do a big buy, but if they did, I'd pick BMW as the first; just a great product line.
    The BMW family would never sell it so let it go. It's not happening.
    SpamSandwichanantksundaramcnocbuijbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 15 of 59
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,949member
    rob53 said:
    What new ideas have come out of the major car makers since Henry Ford's days? Not much. The only differences are cosmetic and a few engine upgrades. Nothing major. Tesla made a huge leap with better batteries and a power system that puts ICE vehicles to shame. Give Apple a chance to use its engineering and design abilities to see what they can do before blowing them off. 
    Auto companies know how to do volume, so even if their best innovations are engines, they still have unparalleled manufacturing skills. I like the Tesla, but frankly, there isn't any barrier to entry for current Automakers other than batteries to create competitive EV's. Toyota has already built some 5 million hybrids, so it's not like they are starting from scratch. Who do you think that the GigaFactory is being built for? It's not just for Tesla.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,949member
    tmay said:
    I've never advocated for Apple to do a big buy, but if they did, I'd pick BMW as the first; just a great product line.
    The BMW family would never sell it so let it go. It's not happening.
    I dream...
  • Reply 17 of 59
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    Motorola Rokr.

    Here we go again. 

    The auto industry is terrified of a potential game-changing disruption by Apple.

    Imagine Apple, one day, taking the lion's share of profits in THAT area as well. 
    edited March 2016 jbdragonjosharedgeminipa
  • Reply 18 of 59
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,614member
    Apple should collaborate with existing carmakers, tapping their experience, instead of trying to build its own car single-handedly, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler said at this week's Geneva International Motor Show.
    By the sounds of it this is what Apple is doing. Not so much the collaboration as tapping their experience. They seem to be busy hiring experts from the industry. There are many things we don't know  - number one among those things is the level of complexity to produce and sell a car from scratch, but I am not sure 'partnering' sits comfortably with Apple's MO. Remember Motorola?
  • Reply 19 of 59
    fotoformatfotoformat Posts: 288member
    "Carmakers already have the capacity to deal with Apple's needs, and turning to them would make more sense in such a "complex business," Sergio Marchionne told journalists...

    Maybe Marchionne doesn't "Think Different" like Apple does... with everything!
    josha
  • Reply 20 of 59
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,926member
    mike1 said:
    In other words, buy us. He' been trying to find a merger partner for a while.
    Fiat-Chrysler should be among the last on the list for Apple (along with GM).
    Possibly, but that doesn't mean the guy's not trying.
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