Top automakers around the world don't appear to be too worried about tech giants moving into their territory and getting into the carmaking business.
In fact, more than a few seem to think it could prove a boon for the automotive industry overall given consumers' increasing expectations about in-car technology features and systems and the marriage of car design and innovative car communications systems.
As Tech Times reported, the initial feedback about Apple supposedly putting together a carmaking team drew some defensive remarks from top car makers who mostly wondered why the PC giant would even consider breaking into such a low-margin business.
Now, those same automotive industry leaders, and several more of their peers, have apparently given the Apple news, and Google's continued push to make a driverless car, a bit more consideration and thought.
Sergio Marchionne, Fiat-Chrysler's chief, went on record this week during the International Geneva Motor Show, calling Google and Apple "disruptive interlopers," invading the carmaking business. He didn't mean it as a big negative, not by a long shot.
"They are incredibly serious. What's more, I think their interest is exactly what this industry needed. We needed a disruptive interloper to shake things up," he said.
"When you're the guy whose life is being disrupted, it's not necessarily a good feeling. We might all feel better after the event. But while we're going through the event, no," he did couch his words a bit.
Volkswagen's leader Martin Winterkorn views tech players in automotive development as meshing the "digital world with the mobile world." That's pretty much the same view of Toyota's Europe leader, Didier Leroy, who describes the potential to work with tech legacy vendors as "a real win-win."
That's because technology is now a very big part of carmaking and is fast becoming the differentiator, with many consumers looking for the most innovative car and not necessarily the safest car or even the most energy-efficient vehicle.
The days of GPS being a top in-car tech seem ancient now that cars are parallel parking on their own, feature more cameras than ever, can brake on their own when detection systems pick up a potential danger and provide drivers every form of digital communication they enjoy on a smartphone.
As one industry analyst notes, the race in the car business will soon become the race to control what is the "brain" of tomorrow's innovative cars. Thilo Koslowski, vice president of automotive at technology market research firm Gartner, believes there is now a race between carmakers and tech companies to control the "brain" of next generation vehicles.
"Among the automakers there will be two camps: those who understand this space, and those who give outside technology companies access to the center stack of the vehicle. Those companies will emerge in the next five years," said Koslowski.