Hybrids & Electrics

Toyota Sends Condescending Warning to Apple About Hopping Into the Car Business

Apple has become one of the biggest and most recognizable companies in the world. The iPhone and Macbook are nearly ubiquitous defaults for a telephone and laptop. So, when Apple and Kia starting talking about partnering on a new EV, it would be reasonable that the other companies might get a little nervous about having the tech giant move into their space. However, the CEO of Toyota recently offered Apple a serious warning about this new marketplace. 

This town ain’t big enough for the both of us

CarBuzz reports that the long Ross and Rachel-esq saga of Hyundai Motor Group and Apple’s “will they, won’t they” courtship seems to have come to an end. The two monster companies appear to be done for good this time. The ups and downs of this story have been so frequent that it can be tough to follow on a daily basis. After Hyundai/Kia dropped out and Apple approached Nissan, and even they eventually walked away.

man working in Kia Factory in China
Kia factory | Getty

Apple isn’t going to let that keep it down. The computer company recently turned to a parts supplier called Magna, the same folks set to build the new Fisker. While this may all seem complicated and roundabout, this is how Apple works, even in the tech world. Apple doesn’t make its own phones and computers; they outsource all of that to various companies, which is exactly what is happening here. 

Who is going to make the Apple car?

The CEO of Toyota, and grandson of the marque’s founder, Akio Toyoda, wanted to offer some words to the genre-crossing tech company. He thought he should share with Apple that the smartphone game is quite different from the automotive industry. Toyoda is all about new competition but wanted to give some “friendly” advice to the new kids on the block.

At a Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association news conference, Toyoda said, “After making a vehicle, I’d like them to be prepared to deal with customers and various changes for some 40 years.”

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Although the Toyota CEO says he isn’t wary of new competitors coming to the field, he isn’t alone in offering his unsolicited advice and thoughts on Apple trying to venture into the car world.

As mentioned by CarBuzz, Toyoda joins a growing group of automotive big wigs who insist they aren’t afraid of Apple. VW CEO Herbert Diess made a point to say he wasn’t afraid of Apple, as well as the BMW CFO, who said he isn’t losing any sleep over Apple’s interest in the market. This all feels a little like “The Lady doth protest too much, methinks.” 

Toyota really wants you to know it isn’t worried

Apparently, this is isn’t the first time Toyoda has had some public thoughts about a rival carmaker. The CEO has made some disparaging remarks about Tesla in the past, saying they don’t make any “real products.” This coming in the wake of Tesla surpassing Toyota as the highest valued car company.

It is hard to believe that Toyoda isn’t sweating Apple’s foray into the car world or Tesla’s recent successes when the dude clearly spends some time discussing how much he doesn’t care. However, Toyota has been in business a long time and has cleared over 100 million cars in its tenure, so maybe he really doesn’t care. Who could know? All we know for sure is, whether a flop or massive success, the Apple car will garner a lot of attention – if it ever gets made.