Volkswagen: We will starve and eventually take over Apple

“Whenever a new CEO takes the helm at Volkswagen AG, he announces a brand-new strategy,” Bertel Schmitt reports for Forbes. “Last week, it was CEO Matthias Müller’s turn to proclaim his new strategy at a mass meeting of Volkswagen managers, flown in from all four corners of the Wolfsburg empire. The objective of the meeting was, as Germany’s BILD wrote, to ‘close the ranks’ of Volkswagen’s officer corps, and to swear them in on the new direction before the new strategy is formally announced in a few months. The plan may require a little more work for everybody to sign up. Volkswagen’s leadership appears to be divided. Some members of VW’s digitalization team dream the new direction will lead to a takeover of Apple.”

“Last time a grand new strategy was revealed was after Martin Winterkorn took over at VW in 2007. He announced the Strategy 2018, Volkswagen’s plan for total world domination,” Schmitt reports. “The plan was that by 2018, Volkswagen would overtake Toyota, not just in units, but in profitability, innovation, customer satisfaction, everything.”

“The managers I talked to were not impressed. One attendee remarked that there ‘was little or nothing for a carmaker in the classical sense.’ Another Volkswagen manager characterized Müller’s presentation as ‘a lot of insipid speech balloons,'” Schmitt reports. “A participant of last week’s manager conference characterized it suchly: ‘This is the world our developers live in: 1.) Volkswagen generates exclusive ecosystems. 2.) Volkswagen is the gatekeeper to these ecosystems. 3.) We have many millions of customers around the world, and they will line up to become part of these ecosystems. 4.) The ecosystems are self-learning. 5.) We will control both the hardware, and the data. We will starve and eventually take over Apple.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Oktoberfest has begun very early in Wolfsburg this year. Prost!!!

(Or, Müller’s brain has been damaged from sucking the actual exhaust fumes spewing out of VW’s millions of faked-emissions vehicles.)

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tom R.” for the heads up.]

43 Comments

    1. Volkswagen Group on Forbes Lists vs Apple on Forbes Lists
      #77 World’s Most Valuable Brands #1 World’s Most Valuable Brands
      #229 America’s Best Midsize Employers 37 America’s Best Employers
      #14 Global 2000 #12 Global 2000
      #7 in Sales #11 in Sales
      #23 in Profit #3 in Profit
      #69 in Assets #114 in Assets
      #53 in Market value #1 in Market value
      Market Cap As of May 2015 Market Cap As of May 2015
      $126 Billion $741.8 Billion

    2. I think there is a translation error there. From context clues it seems the new management team wants to “overtake” Apple as the world’s most valuable company (a laudable, if impossible, goal for any CEO) not that they want to “takeover” (buy the world’s most valuable company, unless they want Apple to buy them).

  1. Pretty hairy delusion on display. On a par with the 1961 USSR Khrushchev’s “We will bury you” speech and ex-Palm & ex-Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s 2007 iPhone dismissals of “Computer guys aren’t going to figure this out and just walk in and take over…” D’OH!!

    1. Colligan’s one is still pretty funny.

      A smartphone is just a small low-power computer that’s been programmed with the ability to do telephony and given the additional I/O hardware to interact with a radio network.

      Maybe the problem was that Colligan had never thought about what a smartphone was or what it could be. Amazing hubris and a lack of insight and imagination.

  2. VW cars are for the most part just getting more and more boring, they are rapidly becoming the HP of the car world good old fashioned foundations but struggling in the new world marketplace and relying on inbuilt buyer loyalty. Relying on that latter may be their undoing as there is little in reality that marks out their increadingly boring cars from the opposition even where they used to be strong.

  3. The smartphone is the gateway to the ecosystem. Apple has spent forty years sculpting and massaging this ecosystem into a cohesive unit. The automobile will never be the gateway to the ecosystem, so apparently he is inferring that Volkswagen will begin selling smartphones. Will these Volkswagen smartphones be powered by diesel fuel and pollute the environment? Will users be choked by the fumes as they swipe and tap? This company and all the other polluters had their chance to innovate away from harmful fuels, but failed. They will be crushed by Tesla and Apple vehicles.

    1. Tesla has no money, and don’t make profit, they won’t be crushing anyone, if Apple is building a car, Tesla has 3 -5 years before they are crushed by Apple (the day Apple releases the car).

      1. Tesla may not have profits yet, but they have something far more valuable: a brand name and a track record that prompted half a million people to put down a deposit on a car virtually no one has ridden in, or even seen in person.

        If they deliver, they’re golden…

  4. I actually have Apple Car Play in my new Jetta. It works great. I love the car too, BUT I would not have leased it were Car Play not available in it. If VW wants me to be a continued customer they should keep making really nice cars and not mess with Apple.

  5. I’m calling bullshit as a shareholder of both Apple and VW (ADR).

    The diesel fiasco aside, VW is and will remain in a very good place. They have some of the best known and profitable brands on the Earth, including Audi & Porsche. They have excellent technology in many areas and prior to the financial hit from the Diesel thing were the most profitable auto maker in the world.

    As to the snark over Diesels, a number of automakers have since been caught gaming the emissions tests. GM knowingly sold millions of cars with defective ignitions that have killed customers. Takata sold tens of millions of defective airbags and numerous manufacturers knew this and ignored it- again killing customers. VW does not use Takata airbags and didn’t sell cars with defective ignitions for over a decade- so enjoy your GM with it’s killer features being defective ignitions and airbags.

    The current crop of VWs, Audis and such have some of the best examples of Apple’s auto package. In fact, the photos on the Apple website are of a Mark 7 VW Golf. You want your iPhone in your dash? Buy a VW or an Audi.

    Apple should concentrate on telematics and integration. This would allow them far greater impact than trying to make their own. The world is burdened with overcapacity and there will continue to be consolidation in the car space for as long as the lifetime of anyone likely reading MDN.

    It is interesting to note that Tesla has opened it’s many patents relating to the electric car. Tesla has done the hard work and the crop is just starting to come in.

    1. Yesterday a report was released proclaiming one-third of bird species in North America face extinction. A few years ago some where saying Earth is on the verge of the greatest extinction since the dinosaurs. Some scientists claim it will be impossible for humans to live above ground within fifty years because it will be too hot and/or the storms will be too chaotic.

      Tesla opened-up their patents two years ago and the majority of auto manufacturers have done nothing with this tech. Now, Tesla sells 400,000 vehicles without people driving the thing, and the other auto manufacturers are finally starting to take notice? Nope, their horse and buggy routine will exit stage left into the atmosphere of Venus.

  6. The “ecosystem” is irrelevant. Car brands themselves are mostly irrelevant. How can I best get from Point A to Point B is the future — and I honestly don’t care what brand is on the driverless vehicle/Uber/e-car that will take me to work, any more than I care who manufactured the bus or train I ride on any particular trip.

    This is the future that the entire automotive world is ignoring (with a few exceptions). This is the future, not my grandfather’s loyalty to a brand name stamped in sheet metal.

    1. Uber Scab isn’t going anywhere, those crooks like Google can’t execute hardware, and I would prefer to drive myself, and if driver-less cars come only Japan and Germany have the infrastructure and the will to do anything about it. The UK or USA do not.

      1. Driverless for intercity might be worthwhile. But in my own hometown, agree, I’d generally prefer to drive. One exception. If I’ve imbibed too much after a night on the town it would be handy to have my car drove me home.

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