Mercedes Boss Zetsche does not believe that the automotive industry will be only a component supplier for tech companies like Apple and Google.
Zetsche said “Right now we are having the entire value creation chain in our hands.” But he agreed, that entering tech companies in the market are changing it and will change it even more in the future. In February rumors came up Apple plans to develop an electric car. Google is working bringing self driving cars to market.
The automotive companies are investing huge amounts of money in the development of new cars. Volkswagen invested 11.5bn Euro last. Volkswagen employs 46,000 researchers and developers and 10,000 IT experts. With this potentials the company is optimistic to bring integration of technology and self driving cars forward.
But compared to these amounts the digital competition from Silicon Valley has almost unlimited financial resources. Apple showed it can keep up fast in business fields which seemed to be owned by foreign companies before. But yet Apple has production facilities for its own car.
CEO of BMW, Norbert Reithöfer, said car manufacturers are not safe from new competition: “We have to be prepared for new comeptitors, which have not been in the market before.” That’s why car manufacturers have to be innovative..