Volkswagen CEO: We're 'Not Afraid' of a Potential 'Apple Car'

Apple is widely rumored to be working on a self-driving car, internally codenamed "Project Titan." Apple reportedly began work on the project in 2014, and years later, the rumor mill is in full swing speculating on when Apple will debut its self-driving technology. Speculation has become so rampant that potential competitors to an Apple Car are already weighing its potential threat to the overall car industry.

herbert diess vw
As reported by Reuters today, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said that he's "not afraid" of an ‌‌Apple Car‌‌ and that Apple will not be able to overtake the $2 trillion automobile industry overnight. In typical Apple fashion, the company has not confirmed it's working on a self-driving car, but Diess believes that the rumors and reports are "logical." Apple has expertise in battery technology, software, and design, and it can easily utilize all of its proficiency in those areas to create an automobile, the CEO was quoted as saying.

Similar remarks can be traced back to 2006, one year prior to the launch of the iPhone, when the CEO of Palm, which at the time was one of the leading smartphone makers, stated that Apple would not "just figure this out," referring to smartphones. In the years that followed, however, the ‌iPhone‌ would captivate the market, eventually leading it to $65 billion in revenue for a single quarter.

Volkswagen, based in Germany, is one of the largest car manufacturers in Europe and around the world, giving it a significant position in the industry. Diess said he is not concerned that Apple joining the market would disrupt Volkswagen's dominance, saying that despite Apple's expertise in all of the technology needed to create a car, his company is still "not afraid" and that Apple "will not manage" to disrupt the market overnight.

Until this year, very little was known about how Apple would go about building an actual self-driving car. Apple uses third-party suppliers such as TSMC and Foxconn to build current products like the ‌iPhone‌ and Mac, but none of its current suppliers are fully positioned to build an automobile. On that front, Apple is expected to partner with an already well-known and established car maker to fulfill its self-driving car ambitions.

In early January, reports began to surface that Apple was close to inking a deal with Hyundai, after the automaker released a statement confirming that it was in talks with the tech giant. The statement was quickly revoked and reworded to exclude mentions of Apple, and it has since been reported that talks between Hyundai and Apple have ground to a halt.

Multiple sources have suggested different timeframes for the launch of the ‌Apple Car‌, with the earliest reports suggesting a release as early as 2024. Bloomberg, however, believes that the car is "nowhere near production stage" and that a release is at least five to seven years away.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

markfc Avatar
17 months ago
Fairly sure Blackberry said something similar about Apple smartphones...
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
17 months ago
“We’ve learned and struggled for 84 years here figuring out how to make a decent car,” Volkswagen CEO said.

“PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Falhófnir Avatar
17 months ago
And I'm pretty sure Nokia said the same thing about the iPhone...
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seanm87 Avatar
17 months ago
Why do these companies always do this? They underestimate Apple then just get humiliated when they end up being successful.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheOldChevy Avatar
17 months ago

And I'm pretty sure Nokia said the same thing about the iPhone...
Nokia could have survived going the Android way, but they selected the wrong partner.

BTW the Nokia phone with Microsoft Mobile were very good, fast and easy to use. But Microsoft messed it completely when they restructured.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheOldChevy Avatar
17 months ago
Why would they be afraid ? Tesla is already very present for investors but it didn't take any of the VW market shares. Apple will most probably not be different, if they ever actually come in this market. The automotive market is experiencing a revolution today anyhow and companies with strong RnD teams like VW or Toyota are well positioned to profit from it.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature purple

Apple Reportedly in Talks With Toyota About Apple Car Production Starting 2024

Thursday September 2, 2021 4:33 am PDT by
Apple is rumored to be in Asia visiting Toyota as it prepares to lay the supplier groundwork to mass produce a branded car by 2024, according to a new report by DigiTimes. Apple representatives were said to have met with South Korea's SK Group and LG Electronics last month to discuss Apple Car development, and now Japan's Toyota is being touted as its next potential destination. Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature teal

Apple Watch Chief Kevin Lynch to Work on Apple Car Development

Friday July 16, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Kevin Lynch, who is well known at Apple for overseeing work on the Apple Watch, is set to take on a role leading the development of the Apple Car, reports Business Insider. Several sources within Apple told Business Insider that Apple has been called on to help lead the Apple Car project, which has undergone several shifts in leadership over the years. Right now, Apple Car development is...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify's Dash-Mounted 'Car Thing' Now Available for $89.99

Tuesday February 22, 2022 8:03 am PST by
Spotify's first hardware device, the "Car Thing," is now available to purchase in the United States for $89.99. Announced in April last year, the Car Thing is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player designed to provide a more seamless and personalized listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems or Apple CarPlay. ...
vanarama apple car concept

British Car Leasing Company Creates 'Apple Car' 3D Render Based on Patents

Friday December 10, 2021 4:29 am PST by
British vehicle leasing company Vanarama has taken a stab at imagining what the first Apple Car could look like, taking inspiration from iPhones, MacBooks, and other Apple products, and combining them with real Apple patents to come up with a 3D concept render that can be explored inside and out. Given that Apple remains tight-lipped about its electric self-driving car plans, the concept is ...
vanarama apple car concept

Report: Apple Developing Apple Car Autopilot Function With South Korean Partner

Tuesday February 22, 2022 3:59 am PST by
Apple has developed the chip modules and packages for the autopilot functions of its rumored Apple Car with the help of an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company based in South Korea, claims a new report today. Apple Car concept by Vanarama based on patents filed by Apple OSAT is a service that suppliers often provide to partners that involves semiconductor assembly,...
Apple car wheel icon feature triad

Apple Expected to 'Share Information' on Apple Car in Coming Months, Analyst Says

Tuesday April 20, 2021 7:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to shed some light on its highly secretive internal project called "Project Titan," a codename for its self-driving car sometime in the next 3-6 months, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. Ives made the comments during a segment on CNBC Television, in which he reiterated Wedbush's belief that Apple will not actually release a consumer car until at least 2024. Ives...
Apple car wheel icon feature blue

Apple Watch Chief Kevin Lynch Now Leading Apple Car Efforts

Thursday September 9, 2021 12:28 pm PDT by
Apple VP of technology Kevin Lynch is taking over the Apple Car project and will be replacing Doug Field, who is moving to Ford, reports Bloomberg. Lynch first joined the Apple Car team in July, with reports suggesting he had been called on to help lead Apple Car development. Now that Field has left the company, Lynch will be taking over his role and will be in charge of the Apple Car. Lynch ...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Car Project Loses Three Key Engineers

Wednesday December 8, 2021 3:27 pm PST by
As Apple gears up to release a fully autonomous vehicle, it is continuing to lose key people who are working on the project, reports Bloomberg. Over the last several weeks, three engineers have departed the company. Apple's chief engineer for radar systems, Eric Rogers, left for Joby Aviation, a company working on electric aerial ridesharing. Alex Clarabut, an engineering manager for the...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...