It was only a matter of time before executives from various automakers responded to news that Apple is looking into developing its own electric vehicle. The first responses come from CEOs of Volkswagen, Daimler and Nissan during interviews at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the Geneva car show this week.
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CNET reports that CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance Carlos Ghosn responded positively to questions regarding reports of Apple’s electric vehicle project: ”If Apple does it, obviously it’s good news for us,” said Ghosn. ”The fact that a company outside of the auto industry wants to do electric cars is refreshing.” Nissan currently offers its own electric vehicle with the Leaf hatchback.
Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche (via Reuters) responded to similar questions of Google and other tech companies possibly manufacturing vehicles during this week’s Geneva car show. “Google and the likes want to get involved, I don’t think in the first place to build vehicles,” he said. “We have to understand that, and then to find our roles, to which extent they are complementary, to which extent we become dependent, to which extent we are competitors.” Zetsche previously addressed concerns last month of Apple’s potential electric vehicle plans while downplaying the threat.
That echoes comments from Volkswagen CEO who reportedly also welcomed the news of Apple’s car project as well as Google’s previously announced efforts to get driverless vehicle tech on the roads.
Reports of Apple’s plans to build an electric car first arrived last month. The Wall Street Journal followed up speculation over auto industry hires with claims that Apple had a team of hundreds employees working on an electric vehicle.
We later detailed several key members of the team, many of which joined Apple only recently from Tesla and other automotive related companies.