Although Steve Zadesky may be leaving Cupertino, Project Titan (the so-called Apple Car project) is apparently progressing at a fast enough rate that the German auto industry is starting to get scared.
Ask the CEO of Germany’s Daimler AG, owner of Mercedes-Benz, who says that after visiting Silicon Valley, he’s starting to get worried: companies like Apple are further along with their automobile plans than he thought.
In a recent interview with German weekly Welt am Sonntag, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche hinted he’s worried about the likes of Google and Apple when it comes to their plans to compete with his company’s brand of cars.
“Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought,” Zetsche told the paper.
Zetsche and other Daimler execs met with around 70 companies in Silicon Valley, Welt am Sonntag said. Zetsche didn’t say which companies he met with, although it’s hard to believe companies like Apple and Google weren’t included in this tour.
“There were concrete talks. I will not say anything about the content. It was not just about the fact that there is an innovative spirit in the Valley. We know that already. We wanted to see what drives it, and all the things that can be created from it,” Zetsche said, adding he also checked the start-up firms.
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Zetsche is starting to take companies like Apple seriously when it comes to the possibility of disrupting the car industry. What do you think?