Rumblings from deep-pocketed tech companies have inspired many to postulate it’s just a matter of time before electric cars from companies like Apple arrive, but the CEO of Nissan and protagonist for the Leaf says he has no worries.
“I don’t think we’re headed this way,” he said this week at the New York auto show of new and disruptive competitors arising from Silicon Valley.
Instead of following through on autonomous electric vehicles threatening to teach lessons to the major automakers, Ghosn said Silicon Valley companies would rather carve out a place as high-profit suppliers of technological solutions to future cars.
His message is a bit different in spirit from what Tesla head Elon Musk has said inviting competitors to come chase it. Rather, Ghosn doesn’t see it as worth their time, and said companies like Google or Apple could have bought their own car company by now.
“They could have done it already,” he said.
As such, rather than fear them taking customers away, Ghosn urged those in the automotive industry in his audience to embrace the innovators.
“But rather than fear the disruption, I believe our industry really has no choice but to embrace it,” he said as he predicted three trends synergizing to radically shape the industry.
“Three forces — electrification, autonomous drive and connectivity — are about to change our industry in ways we are only beginning to imagine,” he said.
The kinds of cars we will be seeing are rapidly evolving, he said.
“I expect the global auto industry to see more changes in the next five years than it has in the last 50,” he said.