Mercedes-Benz Boss Unfazed by Apple Car Rumours


While discussing the Apple Car rumour in a recent interview with Australian publication, Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche said that Apple building a car would be just like Mercedes building a smartphone (via 9to5Mac). “If there were a rumour that Mercedes or Daimler planned to start building smartphones then Apple would not be sleepless at night. And the same applies to me”, Mr. Zetsche said.


It is however interesting to point out that Mr. Zetsche’s comments seem to draw recollection to former Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s famous line about the iPhone, “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in”, which they most certainly did. Similarly, Swiss-based watchmaker Swatch, whose CEO Nick Hayek had earlier discounted the smartwatch market, is now planning to release its own smartwatch, just in time for the Apple Watch debut.

Last week, Bloomberg added fuel to the Apple electric car rumour fire by claiming that the Cupertino giant will release a vehicle by as early as 2020. 


  • kkritsilas

    -Mike Lazaridis/Jim Balsillie in 2007; “iPhone? Nobody wants a phone without a keyboard.” Where is RIM/Blackberry now?

    Ed Colligen of Palm comments are above. Where is Palm now? (embedded software inside of LG flat screen TVs). I guess the “PC guys” got it just fine.

    IBM “nobody needs more than 640K or RAM” (in the early days of the PC). Is that why the average PC has between 4-8GB of RAM?

    I shouldn’t need to quote Steve Balmer, he has said so many stupid things that he still is spitting up sock lint.

    Point is, fail to recognize your competitors or the limitations that your own products have, and get steam rollered when something better comes along.

    Now, I don’t even know if Apple will come out with a car or not; I have my doubts that Apple will as it is too far away from their main buisness lines, and will require massive investment (not that they don’t have the moeny to do it) in factories, dealer network, service facilities, etc. that I am not sure that Applw is willing to make. However, this should serve as a wake up call to the existing car manufacturers. It may be that Apple is looking to buy out Tesla (and don’t say it isn’t for sale; Apple could easily drop $50B for Tesla, and not even blink; for that matter, it could buy GM, or Ford, based on Market Cap vs. cash on hand at Apple ($178B).)

    In Mercedes-Benz case, they have two things to take note of: 1. Apple may actually be developing a car, which will most likely be a good one (after the 3rd or 4th iteration); and b) arguably, Apple is the only “brand” that can compete with Mercedes Benz in term of quality reputation with consumers. That should be of bigger concern to Mercedes Benz, because even if Apple is only developing automotive dashboards or interiors, this will bring the reputation of the car they are put their dashes into, up by a significant degree..Same head in the sand response from the chairman of Toyota when asked about CarPlay and Android Auto: we have no current plans. Good luck with that, see how well the marketplace accepts your cars when others start putting the systems in.


  • Great comment kkritilas, but could you imagine Apple entering the market! it could be crazy, but gooood!

  • sukisszoze

    I can see the whole car’s electronic designed by Apple and licensed to use on certain models keeping that as a secret. I am not sure how Apple can keep building its own car a secret with so many suppliers involved.

  • OliChabot

    Apple buying Tesla would be amazing and a wise move from them in my opinion. Tesla already have technologies developped (which Apple would only need to improve and invest in), they have a reputation and they have a dealership network. Would be quite similar to Apple buying Beats.

  • Ted

    Didn’t Steve Jobs say no one would want a big (i)phone??

    “no one’s going to buy that.” He also derided big phones as “Hummers”.

    He also felt no one would be interested in a small tablet (2010 conference call-4th quarter)

    People get things wrong sometimes guys.

  • kkritsilas

    I think it is more likely for Apple to either build a car on their own, or to partner with a car company to design the electronics/dashboard entertainment system, but with Apple logos all over. I don’t see Apple willingly becoming a “hidden supplier” to anybody. Just an opinion.