An open letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
I read with interest the comments by Sergio Marchionne from the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. In words made famous by tennis brat John McEnroe – “You Can’t be Serious?”
You may not be aware but in a recent survey, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had 4 of their brands listed in the 10 Worst Automobiles of 2016 (autoguide.com)and those 4 were in the top 6 of the worst. I realize that Apple has small quality issues of their own from time to time but can you imagine the negative publicity if FCA built Apple Cars were sitting in a dealers ‘dead car lot’? At least Apple fixes their customer issues proactively and quickly. It works for me. But an alliance with FCA would destroy Apple’s reputation and your share price would plummet.
I love Apple too and arguably I’m an Apple aficionado, but I wouldn’t be so bold (read crazy) to even suggest building an Apple car when my own house is in such a disarray. Only yesterday I perused the YTD sales figures for FCA in Australia. Alfa Romeo down 53%, Chrysler down 13% Dodge down 58%, Fiat down 58%, and Jeep down 43% and yes I know that FCA are doing ok in the USA, but have a look at the customer dissatisfaction here and you’ll soon understand why any discussion with Sergio about building an Apple Car is outrageous.
Tim, whilst I know that Elon Musk is a bit out there, from my investigation, Tesla is the type of manufacturer that you want to associate with.
If you’d like to chat further about it, always happy to take your call
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to build the Apple Car.
Speaking to Bloomberg at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Marchionne admitted that he’s interested in working with Apple to develop and manufacture its car. The CEO describes himself as an “Apple freak” and said he owns every kind of product the tech giant makes.
“I would assume that we have the credibility to be one of the players they have looked at,” said Marchionne. “There are parts of us that would be interesting for them.”
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While it may sound strange that Marchionne would want to help an eventual competitor get off the ground, he has been campaigning that the auto industry wastes capital and change needs to happen. He has even offered to discuss with General Motors on a potential merger.
The thing is, Apple hasn’t even confirmed that it is working on a car, although spy photos have surfaced and rumors have been spreading for a couple of years. Sources close to the development say Apple has been looking at developing a car and wants to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020.
“Apple has a language, and you have to be able to speak that language,” said Marchionne. “Usually the industry comes into that dialogue with a high degree of arrogance as we know how to make cars. That’s not very helpful as their syntax is worth more than our ability to build cars.”