Ford executive: Apple could create a successful vehicle

“A senior Ford executive has revealed the carmaker believes that Apple has the potential to build a lucrative automotive busines,” Sean Keach reports for TrustedReviews.

“We asked Don Butler, Executive Director for Connected Vehicles and Services at Ford, whether he thinks Apple and Google could create successful car franchises,” Keach reports. “‘We welcome others joining. We welcome the activity that’s in the space. We think it’s exciting. It’s actually changed that we are embracing,’ said Butler, speaking to TrustedReviews at the CES 2016 tradeshow in Las Vegas. ‘So I think Apple can do it. I think Google can do it.'”

“Apple has already shown interest in the automotive industry with CarPlay,” Keach reports. “The Apple technology, which lets you control an iPhone using your in-car display, launched in 2014. The company says all major vehicle manufacturers are now on board with the platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course Apple could create a successful vehicle. It also doesn’t hurt that Apple has enough cash on-hand to buy Ford Motor Co. four times.

With Apple, virtually anything is possible!

Google and Ford tie up in non-exclusive pact to build self-driving cars – December 22, 2015
Ford’s in-car system finally works, thanks to Apple Siri’s arrival in software update – December 4, 2015
Bill Ford on Apple’s vehicle push: ‘It’s awesome’ – November 4, 2015
Bill Ford: carmakers must collaborate with tech companies like Apple – November 3, 2015
Analyst: Apple Car will cost an average of $55,000 – October 16, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
What to expect from the Apple Car: Disruption – August 31, 2015
Apple Car: Tesla engineer joins Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ vehicle effort – August 21, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple Car: Forget ‘electric,’ think hydrogen fuel cells – February 20, 2015
Apple working with Intelligent Energy on fuel cell technology for mobile devices, sources say – July 14, 2014
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” and “Dogadoga” for the heads up.]


  1. You can’t go back in time to the 18th century and invent the radio, because you have to invent broadcast stations as well as power generation and distribution. Similarly, Apple can’t just whip up a car and sell it in the Apple Store, and people can’t drive them into the Genius bar if they have a flat tire or they need body work because of an accident. A car can’t exist without its supporting infrastructure of dealers, body shops, auto parts distribution, and some sort of roadside assistance. People drive their cars anywhere, so it has to be nationwide.

    There are rumors about Apple making cars, but none about Apple creating the infrastructure. It makes sense that they’d contract some of that out, but where are the leaks? There are a lot of missing rumors.

    I’m skeptical and confused about where these rumors are coming from and what they mean.

    1. You don’t think there are plenty of existing dealers that would jump at the chance to sell an Apple car? Your analogy is flawed. It would be more like going from tube radios to transistor radios. There is enough infrastructure (dealers, parts stores, roads) already. Those things do not have to be created.

    2. Not sure about you, but I can’t visit a mall without bumping into either an independent or franchise mobile electronics repair store. These didn’t really exist before the iPhone/iPad. It’s a cottage industry that sprung up to fulfill consumer needs — I’d wager the same will happen for future Apple products (and their inevitable copies), regardless of whether they are in the automotive field or otherwise.

    3. Look at Tesla for an example of how sales and service are done in the modern world. Tesla does, in fact, “whip out a car” when a customer wants to buy one. They are all built to order. In some states the car is delivered at a show room. In others, the state forces you to do something else, like drive to the next state or maybe fly to California and drive home using the free SuperCharger network to charge up as you go.

      For service the Genius Bar comes to you. A tow truck shows up, along with a loaner car, A few days later, the car is returned to your location, fixed and detailed. Since the “routine maintenance” drill does’t exist for BEVs, a lot of the dealership con game is avoided.

      Direct sale is the way to go. No excess production to fill a lot of dealerships with an array of configurations that someone might want to buy, then have to have discounted sales to clear inventory of the ones no one chose. Everybody pays the same price for the same car. No “I’ll go check with my manager on this deal” BS. If Apple sells cars, Apple will sell cars, not a bunch of greedy con men.

  2. You would be a fool to buy a car from Apple. If it is not profitable in the first 2 years, they will abandon it. Apple sucks at slow incremental improvements in anything. Apple does not possess discipline or focus. Apple generally stumbles on success, they rarely succeed at what they plan to succeed at – especially since Steves death.

    1. Please name all the HARDWARE products that started under Tim Cook and have been discontinued?

      And don’t be such a tool to think nothing like that has ever happened while Steve was alive… Mac Cube, iPod Hi-Fi, Xserve, Xserve RAID, iPhone Bluetooth Headset.

      Should I name the many, many more Steve killed off after he returned to Apple?

  3. Ken, you have a valid observation about the missing rumors. I would expect that Apple would want to control the retail and service experience. The fact that we haven’t heard anything about Apple preparing this infrastructure may only mean that they are still in the early design stages and further away from releasing an auto than many think. Only last year they were still hiring key talent needed to develop an auto. Do I think we’re still 3-5 years away unfortunately.

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