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Daimler says Apple, Google further ahead on cars than assumed

William Payne
January 27th 2016

The chief executive of Germany's Daimler AG car maker, Dieter Zetsche, has told the German sunday newspaer, Welt am Sonntag, that Apple and Google have made greater progress on their respective car projects than he had believed. Zetsche's comments to the newspaper were made after he returned from a visit to California where he visited both companies.

Zetsche told the newspaper that both the companies had far greater capability and expertise in automotive design and manufacture than he had assumed. As a result, Zetsche said he had gained a far greater respect for both companies.

The meetings were part of a corporate tour of Silicon Valley by Daimler senior management, and included meetings with 70 companies.

Zetsche described the talks with these companies as having been "concrete", though he did not elaborate further in his newspaper interview. However, he said that the discussions not only included such established giants as Google and Apple, but also a number of start-up companies.

Zetsche also stated in his interview that Germany's KBA vehicle authority had conducted extensive tests on Mercedes and Smart vehicles to see if their emissions had violated standards. According to Zetsche, they found no violations of the standards.