Fiat C.E.O. Slams Apple: Leave Car-Making to the Experts – Vanity Fair
When it comes to making cars, the chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler has some words of advice for Apple. “If they have any urges to make a car, I’d advise them to lie down and wait until the feeling passes,” Fiat Chrysler C.E.O. Sergio Marchionne said at the Geneva auto show Thursday. “Illnesses like this come and go, you will recover from them, they’re not lethal.”
Last year, the tech giant, which already manufactures its own phones, smart-watches, tablets, and computers, expressed interest in creating its own electric car—not just writing code for software to go into a vehicle or making devices for a car, but assembling the hardware, too. But Marchionne says Apple, which has a $562 billion market cap, should work with carmakers who already have expertise in the industry, rather than striking out on their own. (Fiat Chrysler, by comparison, has a market cap of around $9.8 billion).
For now, Marchionne and other auto industry vets don’t need to worry. Apple’s top-secret electric car project isn’t estimated to be completed until 2019. Apple design boss Jony Ive is reportedly not pleased with the progress being made with the project, code-named Titan, and C.E.O. Tim Cook has remained relatively tight lipped. But the car project is moving forward anyway—Apple has reportedly purchased a 96,000-square-foot building in Sunnyvale, California, the same city where the company has been conducting research for the development of its electric car.
In its quest to make its own car, Apple isn’t alone. Other Silicon Valley giants are battling for dominance in the space. Tesla is already a seasoned expert in making electric cars, and has been slowly rolling out new iterations of its semi-autonomous driving technology. Uber is developing its own self-driving cars, and Google, despite a few hiccups, is investing resources into its autonomous car project, too.