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

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.

Apple car wheel icon feature teal

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.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

0815 Avatar
17 weeks ago
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 ...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
17 weeks ago

Existing car companies may not be good at tech
What an understatement.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
McScooby Avatar
17 weeks ago
Fool!:oops: Does he not realise this is what the Swiss Watch Industry said in 2014!;)?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applicious84 Avatar
17 weeks ago

Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche
I'd like to add an Apple car to my garage of VWs ^
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
17 weeks ago
I think that most of tech journalism is looking at this wrong. I don’t believe that Apple will be selling a car. They’ll be selling a service.

The future of transportation is already happening right now with car ownership dropping amongst the youngest generations. As more and more of the world’s population consolidates into cities — now more than half of every human on Earth lives in a city, trending towards 3/4 — it makes less sense to own a car and instead to have one on demand. We’re moving to shared transportation, whether it be public transit, car hailing apps or the sharing model where you can pick up a nearby car for personal use for a longer period.

In that context, having a long lasting battery that can run for a day with sometimes no charging times between users, makes a lot of sense.

In the near future, you’ll use your Apple Watch to summon an Apple Pod to where you are, with nobody inside. It’ll take you to where you need to go and then pick up the next passenger.

This was Uber’s ultimate goal but as of now admitted to have failed. Uber is a software company with a good idea. They underestimated the complexity of putting together a car and will rely on the private car with driver model that they started with. Apple knows how to build things. Apple is both a top tier innovative hardware company and a top tier innovative software company melded together. I trust Apple can pull this off.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mozumder Avatar
17 weeks ago
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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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