Quoted: Carmakers have their eye on Apple and Google

“The carmakers don’t want just to become a kind of commodity, where somebody will only deliver an empty box and somebody will put in the box something which will be the real added value.”

Didier Leroy, European chief for Toyota, says his company is open to working with tech companies that are pushing further into the auto business. That may include Apple, which reportedly is working on an electric vehicle, and Google, which already is testing self-driving cars. The companies also are making a play for others’ dashboards: Google has Android Auto and Apple has CarPlay.

Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn echoes Leroy’s sentiment. “We are also very interested in the technologies of Google and Apple, and I think that we… can bring together the digital and mobile world,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

Some carmakers are working on their own thing. General Motors is planning to release a low-cost, longer-range electric car in a couple of years, maybe around the same time Silicon Valley electric-car maker Tesla is expected to roll out the Model 3, which will be smaller and cheaper than the Model S. (BTW, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly said he’s not looking for partnerships.) Other carmakers competing with Tesla include Audi, which is reviving an all-electric, high-end sports car called the R8.


Photo: Apple’s CarPlay inside a Ferrari FF shown in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2014. (Sandro Campardo/EPA)


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