Fiat Chrysler CEO quips that Apple’s interest in an electric car is an ‘illness’

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Is Apple really planning on developing its own electric car? If so, it would unequivocally represent the boldest bet the company has ever made in its entire history. Sure, Apple has successfully entered completely new markets before, but the complexity of the auto industry presents challenges that Apple has never quite had to face before.

Even though Jony Ive is reportedly not happy with the current state of Apple’s electric car project, and even though the technical head of Apple’s car team left the company, albeit for personal reasons, it seems like Apple’s research into developing an EV is moving full steam ahead. Just this week, a report surfaced indicating that Apple recently purchased a 96,000 square foot warehouse in Sunnyvale, California, the same location where Apple’s research on electric car development is rumored to be taking place.

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While Apple fans are naturally intrigued by the notion of Apple entering the auto industry, longtime auto executives have been somewhat dismissive of Apple’s chances for success.

Recently, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters at the Geneva auto show that Apple might be well advised to stay out of the auto industry. But if Apple does choose to move forward, Marchionne believes that Apple should partner up with an existing car company rather than trying to go it alone.

From Marchionne’s perspective, joining forces with another car company would help Apple tackle many of the hurdles associated with the “complex business” that is the auto industry.

“If they have any urges to make a car, I’d advise them to lie down and wait until the feeling passes,” Marchionne quipped. “Illnesses like this come and go, you will recover from them, they’re not lethal.”

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