Despite the very exciting news that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is really producing an electric car, it wasn’t enough to keep the naysayers from trying to ruin the party.
Former auto execs, snarky Wall Street analysts, and armchair analysts all seem to have something shitty to say about a new product that is still quite elusive to nearly anyone who’s not in the lab with Apple execs and engineers.
They’re going to lose their shirts!
Apple should stick to selling iPhones!
And my favorite …
They don’t understand the car business!
Of course, the way I see it, this is an advantage. Seems to me that those who “understand” the car business as it used to be – before the arrival of that trouble-maker Elon Musk – have done an excellent job at showing the world how NOT to make cars in the 21st century.
My friends, personal transportation in the future will not be dominated by lethargic peddlers of internal combustion vehicles. It’ll be dominated by tech companies that have nothing to gain by maintaining the status quo, and nothing to lose by transitioning the automobile market to something that will make today’s “modern” vehicles look like horses and buggies.
The Eve of Disruption
I actually found it quite telling that this recent news about the Apple car came out around the same time as the news about Volkswagen rigging its emissions tests.
Volkswagen is the perfect example of an industry that would sooner die trying to maintain business-as-usual, instead of admitting that its business model and most of its products are boring and antiquated.
Don’t think for a moment that when Apple’s electric car hits the showrooms it’s going to look or act anything similar to what today’s conventional car makers are pumping out.
Of course, none of this matters now. At least not to the knuckle-dragging blow-hards who still insist that it’s too difficult to build and sell an electric car, and is therefor not worthing doing.
Take, for instance, cigar-smoking curmudgeon Bob Lutz, the former chairman of GM. He told CNBC that Apple’s new venture will be a waste of time and money. I’m pretty sure he said the same thing about Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), too.
When it comes to actually making cars, there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, or Hyundai. So I think this is going to be a giant money pit.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune magazine responded to this quote perfectly, writing …
There’s a patter to these remarks. It’s the brave talk of an incumbent on the eve of disruption.