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.
“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.