​GM's Ex-CEO Thinks Apple Has 'No Idea' What It's Getting Into

Illustration for article titled ​GM's Ex-CEO Thinks Apple Has 'No Idea' What It's Getting Into

Dan Akerson, General Motors' former CEO and a guy that had zero experience in the auto industry before taking the helm, doesn't think Apple should get into the car business. Because of course he does.


In an interview with Bloomberg, Akerson, speaking as though he worked the assembly lines himself, said, "We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car. They [Apple] have no idea what they're getting into if they get into that."

Akerson goes on to make the perfectly reasonable case that manufacturing phones, tablets, and PCs are totally different compared to cars, and that their margins are an order of magnitude removed from anything on four wheels.

"A lot of people who don't ever operate in it don't understand and have a tendency to underestimate," says Akerson.

Instead, Akerson proffers that Apple should just get into the supplier business, claiming that if he was still running GM, he would've signed everything infotainment and connectivity-related over to Apple for "every GM car."

Sure. But that last point speaks to how Akerson still has no clue about the fundamentals of the car business. In the case of infotainment, automakers like to control all the things. They're not fond of giving up anything to anybody in the pursuit of marketing, branding, and the perception that they're offering anything but the most cutting edge technology, when – at best – they're offering something that's at least four to five years behind the consumer electronics world.

But Akerson's comments are just the latest in a long, fine tradition of people giving unsolicited advice to Apple. And often being wrong.


Chris Ziegler over at The Verge compiled a few notable examples from Microsoft's ex-CEO Steve Ballmer to the famous quote by Michael "Dude" Dell ("I'd shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders."). Akerson might have a few points, but he also might be the latest addition to the list.


I'm anything but an Apple fanboi - in fact, I'm often a critic...but I'm not about to dismiss the company's success, as well as their vast resources and absolutely staggering market capitalization.

"Manufacturing PC's is nothing like manufacturing music devices and dealing with music licensing. Apple has no idea what it's getting into..."

(Creates iPod and iTunes w/ legal downloadable music licensing, changes music industry forever)

"Manufacturing PC's is nothing like manufacturing phones. Apple has no idea what it's getting into..."

(Creates iPhone, changes the phone market, how we communicate with each other, and in some ways - changes the world forever).

"Manufacturing PC's is nothing like manufacturing tablet computers. Apple has no idea what it's getting into...":

(Creates iPad, changes computing forever)

I dunno - it would appear that Apple can get into quite a few complex marketplaces and do well. They haven't even had to ask for any government bailouts yet, either (although they have had some very rough patches in the past). I have a few things that I'd fear from an Apple car (like having a hood that is welded shut) - but I'd be psyched to see what they come up with. What's the worst that could happen?

iAztek ;P