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Ferrari chairman believes Apple will build a car amid growing EV rumors


Ferrari’s CarPlay integration

Speaking today on CNBC, Ferrari chairman and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne spoke affirmatively when asked if he believes Apple will make a car. The Ferrari boss explained that he believes the automobile space is one in which Apple can exhibit its skills, clarifying that he believes Apple will have a car assembled rather than building it on their own. Marchionne added that Apple has not approached Fiat for being its partner for assembling a car.

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.”

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  1. o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

    They will build their own car in the sense that they will fully design it. another company may assemble it, like they do with all of their products..

  2. Devin Swisher - 7 years ago

    The car companies barely make any part of their cars these days. Look at how BMW has mini built to spec in Austria by a subcontractor (who is not mini).

    • alanaudio - 7 years ago

      Only the Mini Countryman and Paceman variants are assembled by Magna Steyr in Austria, all other Mini models are built at their massive Cowley, Oxford ( England ) factory, where amongst many other models since it’s beginnings in 1913, they built the classic 1960’s minis.

      Magna Steyr also manufacture current G class Mercedes and Peugeot RCZ models. In the past, they’ve assembled vehicles for Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Jeep, Mercedes, Saab and VW,

  3. iphonery - 7 years ago

    Anyone know what car company currently does not have an EV?

    • galley99 - 7 years ago

      I was gonna say Chrysler, but Fiat sells the 500e in California.

  4. Tyler Durdopolous - 7 years ago

    they will use BYD in China with whom they already have a supply agreement and who are already making electric cars – BYD is the most logical choice (low cost, in China, already has an agreement as an apple supplier, already makes electric cars)

  5. alanaudio - 7 years ago

    Most people don’t expect Apple to build the cars themselves as most other Apple products are built by contract assemblers. But I would expect an Apple car to be very different from existing cars, so there might not be a requirement for a typical steel pressing and welding operation as used for most cars. Obviously the drive chain will be electric, so there will be no need for IC engine technology, so Apple might only need relatively minor parts, like suspension, wheels, glass etc from the conventional auto parts sector, but such parts are readily sourced from specialist component manufacturers. Therefore it’s hard to see that Apple has much to gain from partnering with a conventional car manufacturer.

    I would expect that Apple will need a highly unusual assembly line because many of the materials and parts will not be normally used in the industry. If a suitable facility does not already exist, Apple will either have to finance it’s creation, or build it themselves. Therefore I think there’s a fair chance that Apple could actually end up building it’s own production factories. It probably all depends on what the bodywork of the car is made from. If it’s a high tech material, then that will increase the chances of Apple building it’s own factories. Owning the production facilities would also allow Apple to get really serious about security and make it much less likely that information will leak to the media.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.