Auto trade is not easy
Toyota Motor Corp. chairman Akio Toyoda has warned Apple Inc., which is preparing for a foray into the auto industry: There’s more to selling cars than just having the technology to produce them.
The auto industry welcomes newcomers, “but after making a vehicle, I would like them to be ready to deal with customers and various changes for about 40 years,” Toyoda said at a press conference. held Thursday by the Association of Japanese Automobile Manufacturers, where he is the chairman.
While it will likely take at least half a decade for Apple to launch its autonomous electric vehicle project, the tech giant has recently created waves in the auto industry by approaching a wide range of considered car manufacturers. as potential contenders for an automotive partnership. .
The Cupertino, Calif.-Based company’s entry into the auto market has sparked fear among some legacy automakers over the potential disruption of an Apple-branded vehicle. These concerns may be one of the reasons why discussions between Apple and certain companies have apparently collapsed in recent months, Hyundai Motor Co. and others backed off after saying they were in talks.
The biggest and second largest car manufacturers in the world, Toyota and Volkswagen Group, seem less concerned.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said he was not afraid of Apple’s entry in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in February. The auto industry is different from the tech industry, and Apple “won’t be able to support it overnight,” he said.
Joining new technology companies “has the potential to breathe new life into the automotive industry and offer customers a wider range of choices,” Toyoda said. But their entry must be “fair” to consumers, in that they must be prepared to take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their vehicles, from maintenance to eventual scrapping, he said. -he declares.
This is not the first time that Toyoda has rejected newcomers. During a briefing in November, Toyoda said Tesla Inc. does not make “real products.” Tesla, which overtook Toyota last year as the world’s most valuable automaker, could gain in terms of market value, Toyoda said. But Toyota has what the Fremont, California-based automaker doesn’t: the experience of making over 100 million cars.