Toyota Chief Offers Word of Advice to Apple Over its Automotive Plans

Welcoming the possible entry of Apple into the automotive industry, Toyota President Akio Toyoda has offered some advice to Apple at a recent news conference, saying that the iPhone maker should be ready for a 40-year long commitment to its customers (via WSJ).

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“Anyone can make a car if they have the technical ability, but, once they make a car, I hope they’ll recognize they have to steel themselves for 40 years of responding to customers and to various changes,” Mr. Toyoda said.

Speaking as the chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Mr. Toyoda said he had no problem with Apple making cars, but he said carmakers have to deal with many issues over the life of a vehicle.

“Technology companies entering the car industry means that the car industry has a future and choices for customers will widen,” Mr. Toyoda said. “We welcome new entries, but I don’t think it would be fair for those people who are newly entering to say, ‘We don’t need to steel ourselves for 40 years, and you other folks who have been around for many years, you do that.’ ”

Should Apple enter the automotive industry, it could build the vehicles itself or outsource production, as it does with its iPhones.