It has been confirmed that Fiat Chrysler is in talks with Google now to produce further technology. However, Fiat Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has indicated that the company is open to working with any tech giant, including Apple, to further technology and build future cars while offsetting costs and speeding production. Marchionne explained:
“My approach is to be completely open to technology. I think the next paradigm of this business is a paradigm that involves the cooperation for technology with the disruptors. Google is one. Apple is another, even Uber. It’s all about access to the complete information on what people do in the car. That’s when the consumer has time on hand and the business case blossoms. The key is to find a way in which we can coexist with the disruptors, and bring our set of skills to the table. Speed is essential here.
We must establish a link ASAP, must talk to the big players, the newcomers, and the underdogs, everybody. The goal is job sharing on a high level. We build the cars; they build the technology that goes into them. Ideally, I can take this technology and use it across my other brands.”
Also, Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen Group, announced publicly that the company is willing to open the door to new partnerships. Mueller confirmed that talks of future mobility are already at the “advanced stage”. He said:
“The era in which our sector kept itself apart from everything is now over.”
Although Mueller verified that talks are not specifically with Apple or Google, he declined to share any details. However, in November, VW hired Johann Jungwirth, a former Apple executive. Jungwirth was previously at the heart of Apple’s Project Titan, in the digital strategy department. He was also a prior Mercedes-Benz employee with ties to Silicon Valley.
Mueller did confirm that VW has already entered into an agreement with Singularity Partnership in Pala Alto, California, a Silicon Valley startup. Also, work is currently in progress with U.S. software company, Pivotal, to focus on mobility services and new software developments.
Keep in mind that VW is still undergoing substantial financial distress due to its diesel emissions scandal. Reported losses stand at $18.4 billion generated by the mess, and truth told, it could become more! The companies recent current report showed:
“The funding needed to cover the risks may lead to assets having to be sold due to the situation and equivalent proceeds for them not being achieved as a result.”
VW is beginning a push to revamp for the future. The company will begin work from three “future” centers in its “digital era” realignment. The first is in Germany and already operational. The other two locations, one in Beijing and the other in Silicon Valley, will be functional soon.
With previous reports of Magna Steyr and Renault, and now Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen, it’s becoming more clear that partnerships are looming. It’s only a matter of time to see which companies team up, and what company will become Apple’s Project Titan partner.