Toyota President Akio Toyoda warned Apple, which is going to release its own car, about the complexities of the automotive business. He also advised that you prepare yourself to be responsible for the product for decades after release.
During a conference of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the head of Toyota said that it is not enough just to have the technology to make cars to successfully enter the industry. He added that the market is welcoming new entrants, but advised Apple to prepare for “questions and complaints from customers for about 40 years.”
According to him, tech giants entering the auto business can “breathe new life into it and provide customers with more choice.” But at the same time, they are obliged to be honest with customers and take responsibility for the entire life cycle of a manufactured car – from service to scrapping, the top manager emphasized.
This is not the first time Toyoda has expressed himself in a similar vein towards younger participants in the auto industry. In November, he criticized Tesla for “not making real products.” And while the EV maker is winning in terms of market value, it doesn’t have what Toyota has with over 100 million vehicles, he said.
The head of Volkswagen AG Herbert Diess previously noted that he is not afraid of Apple’s electric car entering the market. According to him, the automotive industry is very different from the technology industry, and newcomers “will not be able to immediately take over.”
The unmanned electric car from Apple, which was first talked about back in 2014, will appear no earlier than five years from now, but the industry is already reacting sharply to information about possible partners of the Californian company. In January, Hyundai Motor confirmed that it was in talks with Apple to jointly develop batteries and build a car, but a decision has yet to be made. In February, Nissan allegedly refused to cooperate with the Americans.