Last weekend, both the WSJ and Reuters reported that Apple has huge team working in secret on an electric, self-driving vehicle.
“I think somebody is kind of trying to cough up a hairball here,” Akerson said in a telephone interview. “If I were an Apple shareholder, I wouldn’t be very happy. I would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing” business.
Akerson said the car industry is harder than people think with many regulatory and safety requirements. “A lot of people who don’t ever operate in it don’t understand and have a tendency to underestimate,” he said. “Look at the margins of an iPhone versus a car,” said Akerson. “I’d rather have the margins associated with the phone and produce” 74.5 million devices, like Apple did last quarter.
Interestingly, Akerson notes that he would have been willing to give up the electronic operating system and entertainment system to Apple. “I would’ve signed it over” to Apple, he said. “I’d have turned over the infotainment and interconnectivity of every GM car.”
“They’d better think carefully if they want to get into the hard-core manufacturing,” he said referring to Apple. “We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car. They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that.”