Chief Executive Officer at Volkswagen, Herbert Diess responded to recent rumors of an Apple Car by saying that the German automaker embraces competition and anticipates innovations from newcomers in the industry.
Diess also said that rich technology giants like Apple will pose a much bigger threat for the German manufacturer than traditional rivals like Toyota Motor Corp, if the company decides to enter the auto industry.
Volkswagen welcomes competition from Apple
First spotted by iMore, Diess responded to a comment on LinkedIn asking about Apple’s Project Titan:
We are looking forward to new competitors who will certainly accelerate the transformation of our industry and bring in new skills. The incredible evaluation and thus the virtually unlimited access to resources inspire us a great deal of respect. A real challenge – dimensions greater than those within our industry (e.B. Toyota Motor Corporation ) As I have already said, the most valuable company in the world will once again be a mobility company – it Tesla can, Apple or may be Volkswagen AG called. (Translated)
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Apple is planning to begin production for a self-driving vehicle to launch in 2024. Reportedly, Apple is in the process of developing next-gen battery technology that could increase vehicle range and drastically reduce cost. The company also plans to use multiple LiDAR scanners for self-driving features.
Since 2016, the Volkswagen Group has been the world’s largest automaker by sales and sells vehicles under the Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, SEAT Škoda, Porsche, Audi, MAN, and Scania brands. Diess’s comments show how far the rumors of an Apple Car have invaded the auto industry. After Reuter’s report, Tesla’s stock fell around 6% and Apple’s stock climbed around 4%.
Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he once reached out to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook for the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla, however, Cook “refused to take the meeting.”
During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 22, 2020
From the looks of it, Telsa, Volkswagen, and Apple might become direct competitors with all three companies heavily investing in self-driving technology, if the Cupertino giant enters the auto industry.