If semiconductor shortages, recession risks and the once-a-century shift in propulsion weren’t enough to keep auto executives up at night, here’s one more sleep disruptor: Consumers are keen to buy an Apple car before one even exists.
Strategic Vision just released the results of an annual study that this year reached 200,000 new-vehicle owners. For the first time, the consulting firm included Apple among the more than 45 brands it surveyed consumers about.
Why Does it Matter
Whether Tim Cook will actually green-light a product for all these prospective buyers is still unclear. “We’ll see what Apple does,” the chief executive officer told the New York Times last year. “We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day.” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported Apple is shooting for a fully autonomous electric car and aims to have one ready around 2025. Many companies working on self-driving technology have been unable to deploy robotaxis on the timelines they targeted, and only a handful are offering ride services in select cities.
For the time being, at least, Apple lacks an industrial partner. But one of the companies it knows best — iPhone assembler Foxconn — recently acquired a former General Motors assembly plant in Ohio from struggling startup Lordstown Motors. That factory is big enough to easily make 400,000 vehicles a year. Strategic Vision’s study indicates automakers already having issues responding to the competitive threat posed by Tesla could be in for another menace. But Elon Musk also ought to take notice: More than 50% of Tesla owners said they’d definitely consider a future Apple vehicle. “Everyone should be prepared,” Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards says.