“Looking for improved business models for the personal computer business, Apple CEO Steve Jobs often used to cite automobile makers, though never American car companies. The examples were invariably German. Whether it was the design aesthetic of his Mercedes sedan or Porsche’s success at selling high-margin cars as entertainment devices, Jobs could always point to farfegnugen [sic] as a way to sell a good car for a great price. So since he thinks about these things anyway, and because the U.S. automobile industry is on the skids and begging for help this week, I find myself wondering what would happen if Steve Jobs were put in charge of any of the Big Three car companies,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.

MacDailyNews Take: One of Jobs’ competitors would be out of business within a year and the other would be several times larger, copying everything Job’s company did while pretending to “innovate,” and, as people woke up and realized what was going on, Jobs’ company would be gaining share at the derivative company’s expense with ever-increasing speed?

Cringely continues, “It wouldn’t be boring, that’s for sure, and I’m fairly certain Steve could do a better job than the Detroit executives currently in charge.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
This is as good a time as any to trot out the old (updated) chestnut :

If Microsoft Built Cars…
1. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you’d have to buy a new car.
2. Occasionally your car would just die on the motorway for no reason, and you’d have to restart it. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this, restart and drive on.
3. Your car would inexplicably get slower over time and, every 3-6 months, it would simply grind to halt and fail to restart. At this point, you’d have to reinstall the engine. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this too.
4. Apple would make a car that was powered by the sun, was three times more reliable, fast, and easy to drive–but most people wouldn’t know it or believe it.
5. Apple car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars which would make their cars go much slower.
6. Microsoft would replace the oil, engine, gas and alternator warning lights with a single “General Car Fault” warning light.
7. People would get excited about the “new” features in Microsoft cars, not knowing that they had been available in Apple’s cars for many years.
8. Microsoft cars would come with 5-year-old Apple car paint jobs, but they’d be the same crappy Microsoft car underneath.
9. If you were involved in a crash, you’d have no idea what happened.
10. Before deploying, the airbag system would ask “Cancel or Allow?”