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Fiat Chrysler Open to Working With Apple as VW Seeks Other Partners

Apple-car-silhouetteFiat Chrysler Automobiles is in the late stage of talks with Google parent company Alphabet Inc. about an industry partnership involving self-driving car technology, according to automotive blog Autoextremist and The Wall Street Journal.

Moreover, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has reportedly indicated that he is open to working with a tech giant, including Alphabet or Apple, in order to build more scale and help offset automotive-related production and development costs.

On the contrary, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said that its ongoing discussions with potential partners to start new digital mobility businesses do not involve Apple or Alphabet, as reported by Reuters.

The negotiations follow multiple reports that claim Apple is actively researching and developing an electric vehicle that could enter mass production by 2019 at the earliest. The so-called "Apple Car" team, known as "Project Titan" internally, is believed to include hundreds of employees that previously worked at Ford, General Motors, Land Rover, Tesla Motors, Texas Instruments, and elsewhere.

Apple also reportedly failed to reach manufacturing partnerships with Daimler and BMW.

Related Roundup: Apple Car


Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago
Aren't Chrysler/Fiat vehicles ranked low for reliability?
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago

WOW you think VW would be looking for friends these days


I don't think anyone wants to be their friend, right now.
Rating: 6 Votes
41 months ago
WOW you think VW would be looking for friends these days
Rating: 6 Votes
41 months ago

Fine by me. It'll be less expensive by Fiat Chrysler instead of VW.


And it won't work. FCA is building the most unreliable cars right now.

The car will need a genius to follow you around.
Rating: 5 Votes
41 months ago

WOW you think VW would be looking for friends these days


Why does VW group -NEED- anything? They own Audi, Bently, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, VW and more ... if anyone might -NEED- anything, it would be a company that has never produced an industrial product that doesn't fit on your desk.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
It would be a better bet for Apple to seriously step up its iPhone game instead of working on something that they have had no experience at....

Seriously, They're trying to leave that which is in their hands to catch hold of something that which is flying high above their heads.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago

Japanese quality is far, far better than lease-special Germans. Europeans are just very biased to their home brands. But all automakers have super-insulated cultures, so doubt they will want to work with an Silicon Valley company.

I'll take a German auto over a Japanese auto any day.
Rating: 3 Votes
41 months ago
I think a lot of you guys are missing the point.

Foxconn, who makes iPhones, manufactures very high quality electronics. They also manufacture very low quality, cheap crap. They are contractor that makes whatever you designed, according to your specifications. If you have big enough pull, like with Apple, you can also dictate a lot about how it is manufactured, the quality control, the methods used, the workforce that's acceptable, the chemicals that are not acceptable, even to the point of where the raw materials can come from. Basically Apple specifies everything and then sets Foxconn to work.

So if Fiat/Chrysler were to build the Apple car, it is inherently unfair to assume that the result will be just as bad as Fiat/Chrysler's cars. Those cars were engineered by Fiat, then built to Fiat's specifications, and finally checked with Fiat's quality control methods.

An Apple car built by Fiat will be inherently different. Apple will design the car, Apple will dictate the required specifications, and Apple will specify the quality control. Fiat will just be providing the roof and turning the wrenches. Apple wants Fiat (or BMW, or Mercedes, or whomever) to be the Foxconn of their cars.

In many cases, Apple actually specifies the manufacturing method itself because it is inherently required for their designs. This has included methods not previously used for phones and computers. For example, laser drilling for speaker holes and CNC machining for unibody laptops.

Granted, cars aren't laptops. But neither are gigantic buildings, and look at the crazy specifications and levels of attention that they are using for their new mothership in Cupertino. In order to meet Apple's requirements, the contractors have had to invent new ways to build things--they aren't just haphazardly slapping concrete slabs together like they always have.

So it is almost inconceivable to me that Apple would suddenly allow sloppy manufacturing and poor fit & finish on what will be their first vehicle ever, in an entirely new and important product category for them. Especially considering the truly massive amount of media attention that this will receive worldwide. There will be an army of reporters from the Wall Street Journal to the home office blogger who are going to scrutinize this car to death.

I'm not going to pretend this Apple car is going to be the greatest car ever. Apple's first gen on a lot of their products have issues, same as everyone else. I'm just saying that it won't be anything like a Fiat/Chrysler, for better or for worse.

TL;DR
This is going to be an Apple car, not a Fiat car with an Apple sticker on the hood.
Rating: 3 Votes
41 months ago
Besides Tesla, which is gaining traction in Europe due to unfair tax laws, the other companies are on the bottom of the list of good manufacturers.
Chrysler: the company that dragged Mercedes in the dirt.
Fiat: famous for low cost, low quality cars (I dare you to find a 20 year old Fiat on the roads of northern Europe. They're all gone, rusted away years ago like the brands reputation). Ferrari might be a super car, but their quality is by no means "super".
General Motors... The masters of "Badge Engineering". If Apple partner with them, our MacBooks will be branded "Daewoo" within a decade and be made out of recycled beer cans.
Land Rover. Well, British cars have a great reputation. If you like electrical malfunction and extra ventilation through the body (although older Land Rovers had bodywork out of aluminium, the frame rusted away at frightening speed). Now owned by Tata from India. A country NOT famous for their great cars.

I think it's very interesting that the companies that actually stands for quality, brand loyalty, excellent engineering, innovation, the Germans, are all off the list. I wonder if that is because Apple don't want to work with them or the other way around... My guess is that the Germans are not interested in partnering with an obnoxious Yank with no experience in the car industry.
Apple might brag about being the inventor of the modern smartphone, but Mercedes invented the car.
Rating: 3 Votes
41 months ago

Yes, I have to laugh though because I just bought a 2014 Durango. The styling did it for me and the eight speed. Looks better than any of its competition IMO. Couldn't help it. We'll see how it goes.


You should try one of these.
Rating: 3 Votes

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