Don Butler, Executive Director for Connected Vehicles and Services at Ford, welcomes competition and believes the Apple Car is something Apple can do.
“We welcome others joining. We welcome the activity that’s in the space. We think it’s exciting. It’s actually changed that we are embracing,” said Butler, speaking to TrustedReviews at the CES 2016 tradeshow in Las Vegas. “So I think Apple can do it. I think Google can do it. I think that what you will most likely see is a number of partnerships with companies that bring different skill-sets to the table working together to deliver solutions that neither of them could have done possibly on their own.”
General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, on the other hand, isn’t that confident and points to several roadblocks the company will face while developing an electric car.
“First of all, Apple has no expertise in batteries. They don’t make batteries. The specialized electrochemical companies make batteries and Apple is going to buy batteries like everyone else. And when it comes to actually making cars, there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, or Hyundai.”
Another negative thought regarding the Apple Car comes from Dan Akerson, retired CEO of GM. He told Bloomberg that if he were an Apple shareholder, he “wouldn’t be very happy” know that the company had plans to enter the car industry.
It’s a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing process, and those who don’t operate in this business have a tendency to underestimate it, Akerson argues.