With regards to Tim Cook, Marchionne was not very specific: "He's interested in Apple's intervention in the car, that's his role." Marchionne declined to elaborate to describe his meetings with Musk or Cook in any more detail.
Rumors of Apple's electric self-driving car, codenamed 'Titan,' started earlier this year. Apple has already hired a team of experts, lead by VP Steve Zadesky, and is reportedly aiming to begin production as early as 2020. Marchionne's recent comments add more speculation on Apple's vehicle plans. A mysterious van leased to Apple with rooftop cameras was spotted in Palo Alto earlier this year, but some believe that van was Apple simply working on improving its Maps application.
Apple faces many challenges entering the automobile industry; however, given the company's vast resources and assets, it certainly can make an impact.