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Amid Apple Car Rumors, Volkswagen CEO Welcomes Competitors to Accelerate Transformation of the Auto Industry

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Apr 12, 2001
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Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has responded to recent rumors of an Apple car, saying that the major German automaker embraces competition and anticipates the innovations of newcomers in the industry.



In a response to a comment on LinkedIn asking about Apple's "Project Titan," first spotted by iMore, Diess said:

We look forward to new competitors who will certainly accelerate the change in our industry again and bring new skills. The incredible valuation [of new competitors] and their practically unlimited access to resources instills a lot of respect in us. A real challenge - dimensions larger than that within our industry (e.g. Toyota Motor Corporation).

I already said: The most valuable company in the world will again be a mobility company - it can be Tesla, Apple, or Volkswagen AG.

On Monday, Reuters reported that Apple is aiming to begin production on a self-driving vehicle starting in 2024. Apple is reportedly developing a "next level" battery system that could "radically" reduce cost and increase vehicle range, and plans to make use of multiple LiDAR scanners for self-driving functions.

The Volkswagen Group has been the world's largest automaker by sales since 2016 and sells vehicles under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT Škoda, MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen brands. Diess's comments illustrate how far recent rumors of an Apple car have pervaded the auto industry. Following the Reuters report, Apple's stock climbed by around four percent, while Tesla's fell by around six percent.

Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk weighed into discussions surrounding an Apple car, saying that he once reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla, but Cook "refused to take the meeting."

If and when Apple does begin selling a passenger vehicle, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Apple will likely be direct competitors, with all three companies heavily investing in self-driving technology.

Article Link: Amid Apple Car Rumors, Volkswagen CEO Welcomes Competitors to Accelerate Transformation of the Auto Industry
 

anthogag

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2015
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Canada
I am not sure an Apple car to compete with current auto companies will fly. There would be huge competition here.

Apple wants to be environmentally friendly. They could make something electric with all the tech but perhaps something with bicycle wheels. Something with a lighter footprint that could sell anywhere.
 
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0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
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here and there but not over there
while the diesel-gate created a lot of mistrust, I like the 'new' VW and see it as one of the few traditional automakers that goes the right direction with the ID line .... love my Tesla, but can't wait until all the electric VWs are available in the US. Competition is good and needed.

I could see Apple entering a partnership (or just purchase it) with one of the new Electric startups. Lucid would be great. They already have the Lucid Air ... the SUV will then be the Lucid Max and the high-end edition of it the Lucid Pro Max ...
 
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richman555

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2010
435
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Collegeville, PA
Competition is a good thing quite honestly.

Its also interesting as there are many skills required for success here such as technology along with manufacturing. Existing car companies may not be good at tech, but they have large manufacturing capabilities and existing "footprints" in the market. I guess time will tell.
 
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steevn

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2016
57
186
This isn’t surprising, auto manufacturers are at the forefront of the future of vehicles, everything will be electric eventually. The issue is they don’t know which direction to go with the technology and they want to get on with the process quickly so they know where to go.

They want everyone to jump in now because this is one of the rare times where all auto manufacturers want everyone’s input and technology side by side so they can decide as a whole where they will all go.

They don’t want to spend millions re tooling their plants if a better technology comes out one year later, or end up leaving early adopters of electric vehicles on their own if there are major changes.
 
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TPALTony

macrumors regular
May 29, 2007
126
72
while the diesel-gate created a lot of mistrust, I like the 'new' VW and see it as one of the few traditional automakers that goes the right direction with the ID line .... love my Tesla, but can't wait until all the electric VWs are available in the US. Competition is good and needed.

I could see Apple entering a partnership (or just purchase it) with one of the new Electric startups. Lucid would be great. They already have the Lucid Air ... the SUV will then be the Lucid Max and the high-end edition of it the Lucid Pro Max ...
But it'll use a custom charging lead right? :) :) :)

Seriously though, I agree. At the moment the big weakness for non Tesla in most countries is charging infrastructure. In the UK if you wanted to do a lot of long distance driving you just couldn't do it sensibly in a non Tesla right now. Although that is starting to change (and rapidly) with Ionity chargers starting to show up in a lot of places. I also look forward to VW drastically improving their currently not great battery and powertrain efficiency as their mpkwh is currently way lower than Tesla. But that's not a surprise. Tesla have been working on this stuff for a lot lot longer than VW. VW will get there and the competition will be a good thing.
 
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jamesnajera

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2003
414
119
What if the Apple Car is a service offering from Apple. You want to go some where, call an Apple Car and have it come pick you up? Watch Apple advertising while being driven to your destination. Maybe Apple will add it to Apple One?
 
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mozumder

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2009
999
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Not sure why Apple needs to get into the car business, when there's a million other tech items to develop with obvious Apple implications. In particular, HomeKit and HealthKit devices. Or a printer. Or camera. Or servers/networking equipment. Hell, why not homes or airplanes or handbags or anything in the universe of products.

Apple needs to do a lot better than what companies like Toyota will eventually produce, which is an extremely high bar.
 
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Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
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What sensible words from VW. Not wise to discount Apple when it comes to pretty much anything, and certainly not wise to do it in public as an executive of a public company, unless you want to very likely look like a total idiot in a few years... (Microsoft, Blackberry, the list goes on and on.)
 
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aandre

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2013
48
40
What if... Johnny Ive is working full-time, seven days a week, on this project. That’s a dream most industrial designers have, to create a machine that drives or flies. Ive’s talent has never been satisfied designing computers and phones.
 
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djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
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Incumbent auto industry has no chance.

Tech companies have multiple times their cash, and can buy them out just in case, if needed, to kick start operations.

Only then we will see what next-gen mobility will look like.
 
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dubuilding68

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2019
19
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I just bought a VW Golf in Canada. This is my way of going green since buying a fuel driven car is MORE ECOLOGICAL in the first 30 000 to 50 000 miles than an electric car. Given that I drive 1 500 miles/year and change every 3 years I certainly put put less carbon in the atmosphere, short and medium term, than I would buying a Tesla or ID3.
 
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McScooby

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2005
863
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The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
Except that the Swiss Watch Industry was back then not working on smartwatches and had no plans to do so, while in this case, VW has an awesome lineup of BEV's
You never should welcome / invite competition, it just makes those established makers look complacent.
VW might be awesome now, maybe less so should :apple: enter the market.
If anything, his comment should've been a typical :apple: response saying he believes VW are light years ahead of other manufactures & talked up his product rather than talking down the industry!😜
 
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erthquake

macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2011
114
79
I feel for Diess. He really does want to go full throttle into EVs, but he's being held back by the gasholes in his company. VW still has enormous challenges. It's hard to ramp EVs because it tanks their profitable ICE car sales while their EVs still have negative gross margins. It also doesn't help that their EU dealers have been leading customers away from EV purchases.

Apple has an advantage not being encumbered with an ICE car business. But they have no charging network. They have no auto production expertise, and if they try to farm it out to third party manufacturers like Magna, it's much harder to be profitable. But then they have huge amounts of cash so they have lots of runway to work things out. And they have no high-energy battery expertise, hampering range and manufacturing costs.

And they have no "reckless" drive and vision. If they did, they would have bought Tesla back in 2018.

But I'm glad Cook passed on the meeting. They're too risk-averse. There's no way Apple would have allowed CyberTruck to happen. And that thing is going to blow away legacy auto in terms of range, performance and price.
 
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the future

macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2002
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Wow ... I never thought Apple would actually make their own car. But the comments first from Tesla and now VW sure seem to confirm they are doing this for real. This is going to get really, really interesting ...
 
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4jasontv

macrumors 68040
Jul 31, 2011
3,981
4,364
Not sure why Apple needs to get into the car business, when there's a million other tech items to develop with obvious Apple implications. In particular, HomeKit and HealthKit devices. Or a printer. Or camera. Or servers/networking equipment. Hell, why not homes or airplanes or handbags or anything in the universe of products.

Apple needs to do a lot better than what companies like Toyota will eventually produce, which is an extremely high bar.
Toyota makes good electric cars?
 
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hellosil

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2013
87
174
So he and Elon are making cool statements to get the public and investors interested in their companies, so that they can get the investments and attention needed to realize their cool statements?

There are worse strategies. 😁👍
 
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jmgregory1

macrumors 68020
while the diesel-gate created a lot of mistrust, I like the 'new' VW and see it as one of the few traditional automakers that goes the right direction with the ID line .... love my Tesla, but can't wait until all the electric VWs are available in the US. Competition is good and needed.

I could see Apple entering a partnership (or just purchase it) with one of the new Electric startups. Lucid would be great. They already have the Lucid Air ... the SUV will then be the Lucid Max and the high-end edition of it the Lucid Pro Max ...
What’s sad about VW’s diesel-gate, is that they even felt the need to alter the performance in the first place. Most diesel customers wouldn’t care about a small drop in power for certain situations, may not even notice it, so it was stupid to try to game the system.

The other bad thing is how I could get in my VW Touareg TDI right now, drive a couple of blocks and witness truck after truck spewing huge amounts diesel smoke, yet that’s ok and seemingly goes unregulated.

I’m hoping VW can accelerate their transition to electric. We almost bought a Touareg Hybrid, which were a fantastic combination of performance and efficiency. Their using the electric motor built into the transmission, and pairing it with the mostly Audi-used supercharged V6 meant it was quick around town, yet could start off on electric only power, or travel on highway in electric mode and you would be hard pressed to tell. The big negative with them was they didn’t make or sell many, so finding them used is nearly impossible.
 
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