Volkswagen says its 'not afraid' of an Apple electric car, as Nissan denies talks
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WOLFSBURG - Volkswagen is not concerned by any potential plans that Apple might have for an electric car that could include the iPhone maker's battery technology, its chief executive Herbert Diess said recently.
Reuters reported in December that Apple may have progressed enough to build a vehicle for mass markets by 2024, helped by cost cuts in battery technology.
"The car industry is not a typical tech-sector that you could take over at a single stroke," Diess was quoted as saying an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
"Apple will not manage that overnight," he added.
While Apple's plans are not public, Diess said its intentions as such were "logical" because the company had expertise in batteries, software and design, and that it had deep pockets to build on these competencies.
"Still, we are not afraid," he said.
Volkswagen plans to develop software needed for autonomous cars in-house to ensure it can compete against tech firms in the field of electric car data.
Nissan says it’s not in talks with Apple
Meanwhile, Nissan said on Monday that it is not in talks with Apple, following a report that the iPhone maker approached the Japanese company in recent months about a tie-up for its autonomous car project.
The Financial Times said the companies had had brief discussions that faltered over Nissan's reluctance to become an assembler for Apple-branded cars, adding that the talks had not advanced to senior management level.
"We are not in talks with Apple," a Nissan spokeswoman said. "However, Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation."
The spokeswoman declined to comment further. Representatives for Apple were not immediately available for comment.
Early stage talks between Apple and Hyundai Motor Group over autonomous electric cars also recently collapsed on concerns within the South Korean carmaker about becoming a mere contract manufacturer.
Reuters reported in December that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and aimed to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.