The world’s biggest car company – Toyota – has offered some free advice to Apple who has reportedly revived plans to sell an electric car.
According to a report by news agency Bloomberg, the company’s CEO Akio Toyoda, who is the grandson of the founder of the Toyota Motor Company, told Japanese media this seek he welcomed new entrants into the automotive sector.
However, Mr Toyoda said in a message to Apple, “but after making a vehicle, I’d like them to be prepared to deal with customers and various changes for some 40 years.”
New technology companies such as Apple have “the potential to breathe new life into the auto industry and give customers a wider range of choices,” said Mr Toyoda.
However, the executive noted, such companies need to be “fair” to consumers and take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their vehicles, including manufacturing, maintenance, and eventual scrapping at the end of the life of the vehicle.
This isn’t the first time Mr Toyoda has cast shade on new automotive challengers.
Last November, the executive said US electric-car start-up Tesla has not “created a real business yet or a real world yet”, a reference to its business being supported by continual shareholder fund-raising rather than genuine profit.
Despite only producing 500,000 cars last year, Tesla was valued higher than longstanding brands such as Volkswagen and Toyota, both of which produced about 10 million cars each in the same period.
Business analysts say Apple will likely favour appointing a manufacturing firm – as it does with its phones and computers – rather than establishing its own car factory.
Apple is likely to go with a contract manufacturer “because that’s the business model they’re used to”, Eric Noble, president of consulting firm CarLab told the Bloomberg news agency.
The analyst speculated outside suppliers such as Foxconn (which already has a relationship with Apple) and Magna (which manufactures cars for Mercedes, BMW and Toyota) are two primary contenders for Apple’s business.