Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community.
Horace Dediu from Asymco & Clayton Christensen Institute is back with the second Asymco trilogy on our podcast to discuss the major topics that dominate the world of business and technology: modular revolution, startup strategy, Apple & cars. In the final part of the second trilogy, Horace discussed whether traditional companies such as Toyota and VW Group can tackle disruption coming from technology companies, the perspective of Tesla as an energy company but not an automotive company and what the iPhone equivalent of the car will look like.
I understand that you have visited Toyota and are also an avid reader to books relating to the history of transportation. I want to ask you in a series of questions. But to start off, I want to talk about Toyota. Toyota started out as a Japanese automotive company and it clearly understands that it’s under siege from Google, Uber, Tesla & Apple with the rumored Project Titan. How would a traditional company such as Toyota or VW group cope with such disruption coming forward? [1:36]
I have heard many times that your issue with Tesla is that they are not innovating on the manufacturing and production lines. To me, Tesla is an energy company. I did not appreciate until I am working on self-driving cars and its implications to logistics but the problem of energy is pretty important and the company has made leaps and bounds with their battery charging technology. Would it not be clear that they are actually disrupting the energy space rather than the automotive space? [12:30]
Recently, Benedict Evans pointed that the cars today are like feature phones integrating Android car and Apple car play. I asked Ben Bajarin who is recently on my show, and he thinks that Tesla is probably the best shot in getting to become the “iPhone” version for a car. A recent read of the book “Losing the Signal” by McNish and Silcof described how the blackberry executives were blindsided and called the iPhone, “The Jesus Phone”. What do you envisage the “Jesus car” would be? [20:10]
Will disruption of the car happen when innovation coming from both high-end and low-end conditions similar to Apple in the smartphone industry? [25:39]
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