Mercedes won’t become Foxconn for the Apple Car


Mercedes concept car from CES 2015. Photo: Mercedes
A Mercedes concept car shown at CES 2015.
Photo: Mercedes

Steve Jobs may have famously driven a silver Mercedes SL55 AMG without a license plate, but don’t think that Mercedes-Benz is lining up to be the company that builds Apple’s much-rumored electric car.

“We do not plan to become the Foxconn of Apple,” said Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Daimler, the company which builds Mercedes vehicles, speaking at this week’s Frankfurt International Motor Show.

According to a New York Times report, talk of the Apple Car, as well as Google’s work with self-driving cars, is dominating the car show — despite neither company having vehicles ready to sell.

This isn’t the first time Mercedes has thrown shade on Apple’s car ambitions. Earlier this year, Zetsche said he worries about an Apple Car as much as Apple should worry about a Mercedes-Benz smartphone. Then again, Apple has already struck a blow against Mercedes — stealing away its connected cars engineer Johann Jungwirth to work on a project in Cupertino.

Of course, Apple’s hardly stuck when it comes to possible companies to team up with to build its vehicle. Also at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, BMW CEO Harald Krüger said an Apple Car based on BMW’s electric i3 vehicle would be a “nice idea.”

According to rumors, Apple has previously expressed its interest in using BMW’s i3 carbon fiber body as the basis for its Apple Car, with Tim Cook meeting with senior BMW managers to talk about the idea.

Maybe Mercedes-Benz is just feeling left out!