BMW CFO dismisses Apple Car threat: ‘I sleep very peacefully’

As talk of “Apple Car” ratchets up, BMW CFO Nicholas Peter believes luxury-car maker is in strong position, well-positioned as electrification and private vehicle ownership alternatives transform the auto industry.


William Wilkes for Bloomberg:

“I sleep very peacefully,” Peter said when asked about Apple. “Competition is a wonderful thing — it helps motivate the others. We’re in a very strong position and we want to remain in a leading position of the industry.”

The comments are the latest show of confidence by BMW after a year in which it watched Tesla Inc. seize a commanding market value lead over incumbent car companies. [BMW] Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said last month the Model 3 maker will have a hard time continuing to grow as quickly as established auto manufacturers mount counter attacks with more EV offerings.

Speculation that Apple is working on an autonomous electric vehicle has added to concerns that carmakers face formidable threats from more technologically adept disruptors. Peter, a 30-year veteran of BMW, believes premium manufacturers’ higher returns will furnish them with the billions of dollars of cash needed to plow into new technologies.

BMW will continue to produce combustion-engine cars along with electric versions for the foreseeable future, Peter said, even as rivals such as Ford Motor Co. and Volvo Cars set end dates for selling vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel.

MacDailyNews Take: Peter should sleep soundly because Apple and BMW have a long history of working together from as far back as the early years of this century, developing the first seamless integration of iPod and car audio system. Indeed, BMW is seen as an ideal match for Apple as vehicle manufacturing partner.


  1. Wow… An accidental early submission! Whoops!

    …Not that I believe BMW is going away (they aren’t), but this is very reminiscent of early comments made by companies such as RIM, when the iPhone was announced.

    Let’s see what happens!

    1. Tesla has a tiny market share, but they are seen more and more. There is a cap to the number of people who will buy an electric car and be slaved to the public utility, which is mostly run on coal and natural gas. Gasoline is the most efficient fuel and is plentiful and clean and inexpensive, except when Democrats are elected. But in that, everything is more expensive, except all the free stuff. BMW is a fantastic manufacturer, as is Alfa Romeo (FCA), Jeep, Toyota, and others who will continue to do very well, unless they choose to only offer electric cars, which would be surrender to Tesla.

        1. Or even 2130. There is no reasoning with somebody who thinks that gasoline burned in individual internal combustion engines is the “most efficient fuel.”

        2. What you did not say, as usual Mr. Deflection, what is the most efficient fuel? Electric cars have limited range and electricity produced is mostly from coal and nuclear sources. Not clean by leftist standards.

        3. True… to a point. The amount of greenhouse fuel needed to produce enough electricity to push a 180 person + vehicle for 100 miles is much less than the greenhouse fuel burned by the vehicle directly for the same task.

          Electric motors are far more efficient.

        4. As usual, Goeb, you are parroting completely WRONG information.

          Since you don’t give a shit about anyone but “true Americans”, how about this for facts: The Energy Information Administration reports in 2020 that in your beloved little country

          40% of electricity was generated by natural gas
          21% by renewable sources (solar, wind, geothermal, hydro)
          19% nuclear
          19% natural gas

          Of the above energy sources, renewables are growing strongly, natural gas continues to grow, and as you should know both coal and nuclear are not economically competitive and thus are falling out of the picture rapidly.

          Oh wait, since you don’t know this, go read a book, you pathetic political hack.

          Regarding range: all cars have limited range. Right now you can buy family size electric cars with anywhere from 150 to 500 miles of range. Some of those can be recharged in less than the time it takes you to eat lunch. They ARE cleaner than gasoline cars by any measure, and will only become moreso as time marches on.

          Nuff said.

        5. @Nuff, yes renewables are growing and good to see I’m all for cleaner energy. Find it curious you omitted electricity generation by coal. You posted:

          “40% of electricity was generated by natural gas
          19% natural gas”

          Which is it? You should read a book, probably better luck than reading a website.

          You don’t know jacksh*t who I care about you arrogant snide fool. I am immune from your sophistry.

          Nuff said…

        6. typo: the 19% figure should be coal instead of what I mistyped, a duplicate of natural gas.

          Had Goeb been able to click on the link I provided, he would have seen it in pretty color graphic representation, with history and future projection of trends too. But that’s too much work. His main purpose here is to argue without facts.

          Nuff Said.

    2. Tesla cars maybe everywhere, but as a business, they are essentially no where. This past yr was their 1st profitable year. Through their existence, quarterly profit was elusive, except for a couple.

      You know there’s reason to question the business when they’ve made more profit from a speculative bet than their core business. I love BTC too, but it’s not supposed to be their main $$ maker.

      Musk is obviously intelligent, but Tesla would greatly benefit from one with a pure business focus and not driven by sensationalism, memes and antics.

  2. “I like our strategy, I like it a lot…”

    Windows mobile market share 2021: “unsupported” after being discontinued.

    But what do I know? Balmer’s worth 50 bil.

      1. ergo, because you didn’t get along with your college roommate (or anyone else here for that matter), you turned out to be a loser troll online instead of an enormously rich successful CEO? Sweaty Ballmer is smarter and more successful than you, and you prove it everyday here.

  3. Can you say “rolling blackouts” boys and girls? Thanks to all the libturd “green power” we don’t have enough power to run our country as it is. What will happen when we add tens of millions of electric cars?

    1. We had rolling blackouts in Texas in 2011 due to a winter storm affecting an electrical and natural gas infrastructure that was not winterized. Every responsible analysis urged the industry to fix the problem, but all that followed were government recommendations that the industry ignored. Ten years later, as predicted, another winter storm hit the same vulnerable infrastructure with the same results. Even one of our nuclear units was knocked offline. The industry has tried to blame anybody but themselves, including but not limited to the renewable power sources that were only a minor part of the problem.

        1. Bottom line: the current and former Texas Governors are trying to save their political bottoms after mistakes made by their administrations led to most of the state coming within minutes of a sustained blackout that would have left everybody freezing in the dark.

          During the rolling blackouts, wind power was providing a larger share of the state’s total power available than the 7% projected for a normal winter day. Half its capacity was offline, but that wasn’t much more than the percentage of gas, coal, and nuclear that was offline.

          State elections are next year. I hope we do fix the problem.

        2. Gee, what a surprise you would turn this around to more Democrats winning elections rather than solving the problem. You just can’t help yourself leftist political animal. The Green Dream wind power as part of the larger grid is not the result of the current governor. He had nothing to do with the setup that occurred years ago. You did not mention that in your clarion call to have the Republican governor voted out of office next election. That’s because like most leftists, you are DISHONEST, you CHERRY PICK FACTS, you selectively employ DOUBLE STANDARDS and HYPOCISY. The green windmills froze and failed the citizens of Texas and if I were the governor I would push for reforms of the Green Energy MADNESS!…

        3. Learn to read. Even with the frozen wind turbines (which weren’t winterized, as they could have been), wind power still provided a higher percentage of total available power during the crisis than the network operator expected. That was dramatically untrue of gas, coal, or even nuclear. The failure to winterize any of that infrastructure was primarily the fault of the industry, but the state government made no effort to require or even incentivize the changes needed to avoid a repeat of the 2011 blackouts.

        4. PSST! We have windmills in Canada that work just fine in the cold. The only people we up here see down there that are regularly “DISHONEST, CHERRY PICK FACTS, and employ DOUBLE STANDARDS and HYPOCISY” are the right and the GOP. The Democrats are not saints but the GOP are so much worse.

          Thankfully the US is really a progressive country and becoming more so every year to the point that the GOP has to pass laws that control the vote to win, such as they just did in Georgia. The GOP hasn’t won the popular vote in ages.Truly awful people.

    2. We have plenty of power to “run the country.” What the heck are you talking about?
      (Oh, and cool use of the term “libtard.” You really got us all worked up.)

    3. Bit of a shame you haven’t been preparing for it then isn’t it. It’s not like the need hasn’t been obvious for years except amongst the flat earthier, how does the old saying go, fail to prepare then you are are preparing to fail.

  4. Swiss watchmakers were talking bravely before Apple Watch was released. Bavaria isn’t far from Switzerland, it might be worth having a chat.

    Many argue that BMW is a likely partner to collaborate with for Apple Car, but I have worked behind the scenes at BMW and feel that the company culture is quite different to Apple’s. They may both be in pursuit of engineering excellence, but there the similarity ends. I’d be very surprised if Apple collaborated with BMW. My hunch is that Apple will partner with a company less well known.

        1. Nope.

          On my Mac, You have to use the single button or trackpad plus option/command keys to access simple functions that one uses frequently, especially the inexplicably hidden “Save As” function.

          On my Audi, there is a touchscreen with in-depth interface, as well as intuitive direct physical inputs for common functions. The user can use either input method as he chooses. The physical buttons are easier faster and better 99.9% of the time, which is part of why Tesla and other Silicon Valley firms won’t likely ever be able to convince me to buy one of their overpriced rolling mobile computers.

          German engineers are very good at creating interfaces that involve the driver intuitively and efficiently. Apple lost that mojo years ago.

    1. Totally agree at times the Germans succeed despite themselves they can be very conservative yet methodical and concentrate on consistent and endless iterative improvement. Nothing wrong with that when perfected around quality but while there are overlaps it isn’t really the way Apple and indeed most high technology companies work. Apple needs to excite in entering this category as well as give customers a sense of prestige, image and personal achievement ie personal status that BMW/Merc are selling to their customers. For Apple that will have to be earned.

      1. I’ve placed my bets with AAPL. They tend to skate to where the puck is heading, not where it is now. I don’t expect project Titan to be a car in the traditional sense.

  5. The real question is this:

    How much of a car is software for self driving and computer hardware/software controlling the user interface and entertainment?

    No doubt both of those things are rapidly becoming more important in cars. But BMW partnering with Apple for those two things is one thing, BMW becoming a car “contract manufacturer” for Apple is way different than that.

    So how much of a car is software…..

    On a personal note: I’ve had two navigation systems in my cars – an aftermarket Pioneer AVIC which worked perfectly but its UI sucked and Toyota that works nearly perfectly but the UI is better. Now, to buy a new Toyota, they’ve basically thrown in the towel by pricing the Nav system way too high. They’ve basically bowed to Car Play and Google’s competing product. Obviously I’m not talking here about self driving, but onboard navigation systems (as opposed to cell phone map systems) are the key to self driving. Both of my systems have multiple gigabytes of data. Self driving systems have to have 100 or 1000 times that.

    For me, the UI and the intelligence of the car will be of prime importance on my next new car purchase.

  6. The first thing that came to mind was RIM’s CEO statement years ago about Apple’s iPhone making a dent in the market…though James Balsillie seemed a little more sure of himself (and crass).

  7. I wonder if history will repeat itself: “iPhone? We are not worried. We have so much experience in this field.” – “AppleWatch? We have been manufacturing watches for hundreds of years. Apple will have a hard time…” So called “experts” didn’t believe in the mouse and graphical user interface, iPad, iTunes, this and that. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple stirred up the market once again.

  8. BMW makes great cars but the Swiss also make great watches. Paradigm shifts can wipe out established companies if they are not agile. It is fair to ask just when BMW plans to shift all production to electric when other automakers and national government are moving in that direction. If they are as comfortable with R&D cash flow as he implies why aren’t they already ahead of the curve? What about BMW autonomous driving capabilities? How far along are they on that? They only offer a single battery powered vehicle, the i3. It costs as much as a Tesla Model 3. They do not even mention its range in the sales copy -you can’t find it without digging through the specs (must be good!). They do mention range extender option… an auxiliary internal combustion engine. The Tesla is faster, better looking, and has far greater range. So, once mighty BMW has yet to offer a competitive battery powered vehicle or put another way, an electric vehicle that is class leading (or competitive) in any way. Sounds like heady competition for bumbling Apple /s

    1. A lot of very good points though I will point out BMW will be launching new Electric models very soon and i3 retired quite soon also as the range becomes mainstream. Equally they are combining with Jaguar on their electric platforms and remember despite BMW being the the big Brother of this association with massive potential funds to invest, Jaguar has had a European (electric) car of the year which many critics compared very favourably with its Tesla counterpart and that was produced on a relatively small budget over a rather short time period.

  9. Many good points above! Have been following AAPL since 1981 and electric cars for years. Every electric car that is not a Tesla has a ‘deal killer’ flaw when compared head to head with a Tesla (range, self driving, charging network, computer). Watch how Elon and Tim master the supply chains in the past, present and future when cars are chips and batteries… Tim Cook and Apple already have the batter and chip relationships. Apple and Tesla will control the chip and battery supply… oh, and they will make more desirable cars, too. pieces are being moved into place for tomorrow’s crackberry killer. ? is does BMW wanna be NOKIA or RIM?

  10. What AppleCar is he talking about. Oh, right. The one that doesn’t yet exist. Why should anyone lose sleep over a nonexistent product that might be years away? His time would be better spent building a good EV right now and not worrying about some future vehicle from another EV maker.

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