The Geneva Motor Show taking place as we speak in Switzerland’s capital had one major discussion subject – America’s Apple Inc. rumored implication in the automotive industry.
According to numerous executives, both Silicon Valley technology giants – meaning Apple and Google – would prove fierce rivals to the traditional carmakers even as the latter most likely will partner with the established names in one way or another. “If these two companies intend to solely produce electric vehicles, it could go fast,” commented Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn on the sidelines of the Geneva International Motor Show. Google announced back in January its project of autonomous cars is moving along and their goal is to have a driverless vehicle on the roads within the next half decade. Meanwhile, numerous sources that have knowledge of the matter reported Apple has a secretive “Project Titan” that is developing an electric car in the idea of marketing it around 2020.
The fast timeframe – which resembles the one used in the technology industry – shows the two giants want to aggressively push for new customers (automakers usually need more than five years to bring a new model to the market). According to a German government policy paper seen by Bloomberg, the market for connected vehicles could jump from 30 billion euros today to 170 billion euros ($190 billion) by 2020. “The competition certainly needs to be taken seriously,”comments Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany.