Continental AG, a German automotive manufacturing company is willing to partner with Apple once it decides to build a car.
During the company’s earnings call on Thursday, Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart said, “Apple has an excellent reputation on information and communication systems. It has incredible financial strength. We would be interested,” to act as partner once the tech giant decides to manufacture a car.
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Continental specializes in automotive safety, brakes system, chassis components, vehicle electronics, powertrain, and tires. The company started as a rubber manufacturer in 1871.
The German automotive manufacturing company is also involved in the electric car business, but Degenhart offered a bearish outlook over the near-term. According to him, its electric car operations may not be profitable at least in the next three to four years.
BMW recently not working with Apple to build a car
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, another German automaker was speculated to be in discussions with Apple on the possibility of working together on a car. The speculation was based on a statement by a BMW manager that Apple was impressed with the carbon fiber technology used in the automaker’s electric cars.
BMW denied the rumors and emphasized that its discussion with the tech giant is focused on connected vehicles, not building a car together.
It is fact the Apple is interested in the automotive space since introducing its in-dash infotainment system called CarPlay. The tech giant already partnered with 29 automakers to integrate the service.
Will Apple actually enter the car manufacturing business and build a car? Some people believe that that the tech giant has abundant cash to do it, but others are skeptic citing the reason that it could face a number of challenges.
Former GM CEO Dan Akerson recently warned Apple that entering the car manufacturing industry may not be worth it given its low-margin.
“The car industry with regulatory and safety requirements, is harder than people realize. They’d [referring to Apple] better think carefully if they want to get into the hard-core manufacturing. We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car. They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that,” said Akerson.
Apple Car speculation: how did it start?
The speculation about the Apple Car started based on the report that a patent was filed by an entity under the name Apple Electric Car, Inc. The company is located in Miami Beach, Florida. It obvious that it is not related to the tech giant. The patent is for mounting system for a display device in a golf car.
Obviously there are some people who like to speculate and practice sensationalism to provoke public interest. Of course, a story about an Apple Car would ignite not just the interest of many people, but more speculations.
Since then, speculation about a potential Apple Car pops out almost every day. Some people suggested that the tech giant is probably developing an electric car because it has been aggressively recruiting talents from Tesla Motors.
Another report suggested that Apple would acquire Tesla Motors for $75 billion over the next 18 months. A previous report also claimed that the tech giant is working on a top-secret car project called “Titan.” It was also reported that the tech giant will start its producing electric cars by 2020.
Will Apple really build a car? That is still a billion dollar question. As we all know, the tech giant does not comment on rumors and speculations. One thing is certain though, the highly-anticipated Apple Watch will be unveiled on March 9.
Tim Cook said the Apple Watch is designed to replace car keys, which further strengthened speculations about the tech giant’s entry into the car manufacturing space.