When asked if Fiat could become the Foxconn in Apple’s car supplier equation, the Ferrari chairman reacted negatively to the thought of being a low margin supplier in the car space for Apple, but admitted that car markers are positioned to work with partners like Apple and Google as the industry changes. Interestingly, Apple’s Eddy Cue has had a seat on Ferrari’s board for nearly three years.
The Ferrari chairman’s remarks come just days after Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly stated that the auto industry is at an “inflection point for massive change, not just evolutionary change” during an interview at the WSJD conference. The answer came when Cook was asked about increasing evidence that Apple is developing an electric vehicle under the codename Project Titan. Cook said Apple is focused on CarPlay and bringing the iPhone experience to the car in the short time, but certainly left the door open with this teaser: “We will see what we do in the future.”
Marchionne also managed to get a jab in at Tesla, saying customers will go elsewhere when competitors take over 12 months to deliver a car — but not without complimenting CEO Elon Musk:
I’m a phenomenal fan of Elon Musk. I think he’s the greatest. He’s a disrupter and I think he is a great marketer. And I love him.
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