本文摘要:FRANKFURT — WHETHER or not Apple’s secretive car project ever leads to an actual automobile, the technology company has already had a profound effect on the vehicle business.法兰克福——不管苹果公司藏而不露的汽车研发项目未来否知道不会让它生产某款汽车,这家科技公司都早已对汽车行业产生了深远影响的影响。


FRANKFURT — WHETHER or not Apple’s secretive car project ever leads to an actual automobile, the technology company has already had a profound effect on the vehicle business.法兰克福——不管苹果公司藏而不露的汽车研发项目未来否知道不会让它生产某款汽车,这家科技公司都早已对汽车行业产生了深远影响的影响。The mere knowledge that Apple has a team of several hundred people working on car designs changed the conversation this week at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. Along with Google, Apple has focused the minds of auto executives on the challenge posed by new technologies that have the potential to disrupt traditional auto industry hierarchies.意味着是告诉苹果有一个几百人的团队在做到汽车设计方面的研发,就不足以转变人们在本周举办的法兰克福国际车展(Frankfurt International Motor Show )上谈论的话题。

苹果,再行再加谷歌,让汽车公司的高管们把注意力都放到了新技术带给的挑战上,这些新技术有可能会超越汽车行业的传统实力格局。This year, “connectivity” has supplanted “horsepower” or “torque” as the prevailing buzzword in Frankfurt. The talk is of self-driving cars, battery-powered cars and information technology designed to link cars with data networks to make driving safer and more efficient.今年,“连通性”早已代替“马力“或“扭矩”,沦为法兰克福车展的热门词汇。人们谈论的是自驾车、电动汽车,以及将汽车和数据网络连接起来以提升驾驶员安全性和效率的信息技术。

Even though neither Apple nor Google is close to mass-producing a vehicle, nervousness about their intentions — which remain cloaked in mystery — is understandable.虽说苹果和谷歌都离批量生产汽车还较远,但汽车行业仍然为两家公司不为外界熟知的研发意图而紧绷,这不难理解。As cars increasingly become rolling software platforms, Apple and Google have depths of tech expertise that the carmakers would have trouble duplicating. And those Silicon Valley companies have financial resources that dwarf those of even behemoth companies like Daimler and Volkswagen. Google, which began working on self-driving cars in 2009, is valued by the stock market at more than five times the worth of either of those carmakers. Apple is worth eight times as much. That gives them an advantage in a business that requires huge investment in research and development.随着汽车更加多地沦为装有上车轮的软件平台,汽车制造商却很难拷贝苹果和谷歌所享有的强劲技术专长。而且即便是飞驰和大众这样的汽车业巨头,其财力与这两家硅谷公司比起,也不会相形见绌。

从2009年开始研发自驾车的谷歌,在股票市场上的估值早已是上述两家汽车厂商中任一家的五倍还要多。苹果的估值则是它们中任一家的八倍。在一个必须在研发上展开巨额投放的行业里,这让谷歌和苹果变得极具优势。The main risk for carmakers is probably not so much that an Apple car would destroy Mercedes-Benz or BMW the way the iPhone gutted Nokia, the Finnish company that was once the world’s largest maker of mobile phones. Rather, the risk is that Apple and Google would turn the carmakers into mere hardware makers — and hog the profit.汽车生厂商面对的主要风险,或许并非苹果汽车(Apple car)有可能会毁坏飞驰或宝马汽车的市场,如同iPhone击退了曾多次是世界第一大手机厂商的芬兰公司诺基亚(Nokia)那样。

而是说道,苹果和谷歌有可能将汽车厂商变为纯粹的硬件制造者,进而独霸这个行业的利润。Carmakers say they are determined to resist that danger by maintaining control of the software that is proliferating inside vehicles.汽车厂商们回应,他们决意对正在剧增的汽车内置软件维持掌控,以对付这种风险。

“What is important for us is that the brain of the car, the operating system, is not iOS or Android or someone else but it’s our brain,” Dieter Zetsche, the chief executive of Daimler, the maker of Mercedes vehicles, told reporters at the car show. IOS is Apple’s operating system for mobile devices.“对我们来说较为最重要的是,作为汽车大脑的操作系统无法是iOS、安卓或其他系统,它得是我们自己的,”飞驰汽车的制造商戴姆勒公司(Daimler)的首席执行官迪特·蔡澈(Dieter Zetsche)在车展上对记者回应。iOS是苹果为其移动设备研发的操作系统。

“We do not plan to become the Foxconn of Apple,” Mr. Zetsche said, referring to the Chinese company that manufactures iPhones.“我们不想做到苹果的富士康(Foxconn),”蔡澈说,他所指的是为苹果生产iPhones的中国公司。Even without competition from Apple and Google, the carmakers are under extreme pressure to change the way they build cars. Regulators in Europe and the United States are demanding that cars emit less carbon dioxide, a culprit in global warming. The only way the automakers can meet increasingly stringent emissions standards is by selling more hybrid vehicles, and eventually all-electric cars. Both technologies require more software than gasoline or diesel engines.即便没来自苹果和谷歌的竞争,汽车厂商们也面对着很大的压力,必须转变生产汽车的方式。

欧洲和美国监管机构拒绝汽车厂商更进一步减少汽车碳排放量,因为汽车废气是造成全球气候变化的原因之一。而符合更加严苛的废气标准的唯一方式,就是销售更加多混合动力汽车,最后构建只销售电动汽车。这两种技术都更为倚赖软件研发,而非汽油或柴油发动机。Technology that links cars to data networks, so-called connectivity, also plays a role in reducing emissions and satisfying regulators. Systems that help drivers quickly find a parking space or avoid traffic jams, besides being convenient, help limit unnecessary driving and save fuel. But the new technologies are expensive, and car buyers are not necessarily willing to pay. Electric cars account for a sliver of the market so far.将汽车与数据网络连接的技术,即所谓的连通性,对于构建更加较少碳排放和让监管机构失望,也很最重要。


目前电动汽车的销售量只占到整个市场较小一部分。Those pressures have been building for several years, but they have intensified since word leaked out early this year that Apple was studying whether to build a car.对汽车厂商而言,这些压力过去几年仍然在减少,但今年年初苹果就否生产汽车的问题展开研究的消息爆出后,他们的压力堪称瞬间激化。“What has been an evolution is going to be a revolution,” said Stephan Winkelmann, the chief executive of Lamborghini, the Italian maker of super sports cars that is part of the Volkswagen group.“原本在大大演变的过程,如今要沦为革命性巨变了,”兰博基尼(Lamborghini)首席执行官斯特凡·温克尔曼(Stephan Winkelmann)说道,这家意大利顶级跑车企业是大众汽车集团的子公司。

“Starting from sustainability, going over to digitalization, and ending up at autonomous driving — these three big things are really something that is a game changer for the automotive industry,” Mr. Winkelmann said in an interview. “Everybody has to tackle these challenges.”“从可持续性,到数字化,再行到最后的自动驾驶,这是未来不会确实转变汽车行业游戏规则的三件大事,”温克尔曼在拒绝接受专访时说。“所有汽车企业都必需应付这些挑战。”Volkswagen, previously regarded as a laggard in vehicle electrification, said in Frankfurt this week that it would introduce 20 new plug-in hybrid or all-electric models by 2020, and it introduced a battery-powered Porsche concept car. At the company’s preshow extravaganza for the media Monday night at a repurposed basketball arena, there was nary a mention of internal combustion. Instead, Martin Winterkorn, the Volkswagen chief executive, spoke of cars that would park themselves and eventually run completely on autopilot.之前被指出在汽车电气化方面领先于其他公司的大众集团,本周在法兰克福发售了一款保时捷电动概念车,并回应至2020年大众集团将相继发售20款新的挂电式混合动力或全电动车型。

周一晚上,该集团在一个新的布置的篮球馆举办了声势浩大的展前发布会。在会上,无人驳回内燃机之类的词汇。大众集团首席执行官文德恩(Martin Winterkorn)转而谈及了可以自动行驶以及最后可以几乎自动驾驶的汽车。

“By the end of this decade we will have transformed all of our new cars into smartphones on wheels,” he said.“截至2020年,大众所有新款车型都将转变成带上轮子的智能手机,”他说道。It is not only the European carmakers closely watching Apple and Google. Anthony Foxx, the United States transportation secretary, in Frankfurt for a meeting on Thursday with his counterparts from other G7 nations, said conventional automakers were trying to roll out technology as fast as they can, while some in Silicon Valley were aiming to leap straight to self-driving cars.不是只有欧洲汽车厂商在紧密注目苹果和谷歌的动向。

美国运输部部长安东尼·福克斯(Anthony Foxx)周四在法兰克福与来自其他G7国家的运输交通部长开会会议。他回应,传统汽车厂商正在尽量慢地发售新技术,而硅谷的科技公司则想要一步到位地发售自动驾驶汽车。“There is an interesting dialogue between Detroit and Silicon Valley on this,” Mr. Foxx said during a meeting with several reporters. “There is probably some tension there, but maybe that is good creative tension.”“在这方面,底特律和硅谷之间构成了有意思的对话,”福克斯在会见几位记者时布道。“他们之间有可能不存在一些紧绷情绪,但也许这是有益创造性的紧绷情绪。

”One of the main guessing games at the auto show was whether Apple or Google would ever build a car. Both companies have met with German car companies as well as suppliers. Google executives have said the company will not become a carmaker.在车展上,大家猜测较为多的是一个问题是,苹果或谷歌否不会生产汽车。两家公司都和一些德国汽车公司和供应商见过面。谷歌的高管早已回应,它会做到汽车厂商。

“Google is not a car manufacturer and does not intend to become one,” John Krafcik, a former Ford and Hyundai executive who runs Google’s self-driving car program, said in Frankfurt.“谷歌不是汽车制造商,也不想沦为这样的角色,”之前曾兼任福特(Ford)和现代(Hyundai)汽车公司高管、现为谷歌自驾车项目负责人的约翰·克拉夫茨克(John Krafcik)在车展上回应。But it was not clear yet whether he meant that Google would license self-driving technology to traditional carmakers, or use contract manufacturers to build a vehicle. A Google spokesman declined to elaborate.但此话否代表着谷歌不会将其自驾车技术许可给传统汽车厂商,或通过签下汽车厂商生产汽车,还不确切。

一位谷歌发言人拒绝接受透漏这方面的详细信息。Apple’s intentions are murkier. As is customary for Apple, the company has provided no information. But Timothy D. Cook, the Apple chief executive, reportedly visited a factory in Leipzig, Germany, last year where BMW manufactures the i3, an all-electric sedan with a carbon fiber body.苹果的意图更为模糊不清。如其一贯作风,苹果未曾透漏过这方面的任何信息。但据传苹果首席执行官蒂莫西·D·库克(Timothy D. Cook)去年曾造访德国莱比锡市的一家工厂,那是宝马公司生产享有碳纤维车身的全电动小轿车宝马i3的地方。

“We are not quite sure what Apple is prepared to do,” Friedrich Eichiner, the chief financial officer of BMW, said during a meeting with a group of reporters in Frankfurt. He said he thought Apple was still trying to understand the implications of getting into the car business.“我们不过于确认苹果打算做到什么,”宝马集团首席财务官弗里德里希·埃希纳(Friedrich Eichiner)在法兰克福拒绝接受记者群访时说。他说道,他指出苹果还在希望弄清楚自己转入汽车行业有可能产生的结果。“Financially they are very strong,” Mr. Eichiner said. “They could do it.”“就财力而言,他们很强,”埃希纳说道。

“生产汽车没问题。”Luca de Meo, head of sales and marketing at Audi, another Volkswagen unit, said it would be out of character for Apple not to build its own vehicle, if it decides to get into the car business. “The Apple style is the ability to do software and hardware at the same time,” Mr. de Meo said in an interview.大众集团另一子公司奥迪(Audi)的销售与市场总监卢卡·德·梅奥(Luca de Meo)回应,如果苹果要求转入汽车行业,不生产自己的汽车的作法不合乎它一贯的风格。“苹果的优势就在于同时构建软硬件的能力,”德·梅奥在拒绝接受专访时布道。

The traditional carmakers’ big advantage is that they have already mastered the formidable complexity of manufacturing vehicles that are reliable, comfortable and safe. But it is becoming more feasible for a newcomer to outsource vehicle manufacturing the same way that Apple outsources production of iPhones. And the outsourcer wouldn’t necessarily be in China.传统汽车厂商的众多优势是,他们早已掌控了生产可信、安全性和舒适度的汽车所需的极为简单的工艺。但是对于转入这一行业旋即的企业来说,像苹果外包iPhones的生产那样将汽车生产业务外包过来,正在显得越发不切实际。

而汽车生产外发包不一定来自中国。One company already working with Google is ZF, a large German auto components supplier that in May completed an acquisition of TRW, a company based in Michigan that provides auto electronics such as airbag systems. TRW has been working on sensors and other hardware for self-driving cars.德国的大型汽车配件供应商ZF早已和谷歌进行合作,该公司在今年5月并购了坐落于密歇根的TRW,后者是一家生产安全气囊装置等汽车电子元件的企业,仍然在研发和生产用作自驾车的传感器和其他硬件。

Stefan Sommer, the chief executive of ZF, said the company would be able to produce a Google-branded car along with two or three other partners supplying components that ZF can’t, such as sheet metal body parts. “We would be a partner in that, for sure,” Mr. Sommer said in an interview.ZF公司首席执行官斯特凡·佐默(Stefan Sommer)回应,只要有两三个获取配件的合作企业与之相配合,该公司未来就可以生产谷歌牌汽车,合作企业可以为之供应还包括金属板车身在内的ZF无法生产的汽车部件。“作为合作伙伴,我们认同不会参予谷歌汽车的生产,”佐默在拒绝接受专访时谈。But he said ZF could not work with Apple under the conditions it now imposes on suppliers. ZF sees itself as an innovator, not just a supplier. In Frankfurt, it displayed a car with electrically powered wheels that allow the car to turn 360 degrees almost on its own axis. ZF could not agree to demands by Apple for exclusive rights to such inventions, Mr. Sommer said.但他也回应,ZF无法按照苹果目前强加其供应商的拒绝与之合作。因为ZF将自身看做创意企业,而不只是供应商。


While Apple and Google pose a threat to traditional automakers, the mood in Frankfurt is not gloomy. Not long ago, analysts were predicting that the auto industry faced long-term decline. Surveys showed that younger people were less interested than their parents in cars and driving. But if Apple and Google are interested in the car industry, auto executives reason, cars and driving must be cool again.尽管苹果和谷歌给传统汽车厂商带给了威胁,但法兰克福车展上并非愁云布满。不久前,分析师们预测汽车业将面对长年的业绩上升。不少问卷调查也表明,更加年长的一代对汽车和驾驶员的兴趣,比他们的父母辈一代要较少。

但汽车公司高管们推测,如果苹果和谷歌对汽车行业感兴趣,汽车和驾驶员认同不会再次变酷。“It’s confirmation that we are working in a future industry,” said Ola , head of marketing and sales for Mercedes-Benz cars.“这证明,我们专门从事的是一个享有未来的行业,”飞驰的市场和销售总监奥拉·凯伦纽斯(Ola )说道。Apple and Google have given the car industry a jolt. Now the question is whether carmakers can respond quickly enough.苹果和谷歌早已给汽车行业带给冲击。

现在的问题是,汽车厂商们能否充足慢地不予应付。And they are trying to raise their games. Daimler, for example, reorganized its factories around the world last year, eliminating plant managers and giving control over production to the executives in charge of different model lines. The change allowed Mercedes to introduce a new variant of its popular C-Class at four factories, on four continents, in six months — about half of what it would have taken earlier, said Markus , head of production at Mercedes.他们于是以希望提高自身的现状。比如,飞驰在去年重组了它产于于全球的工厂,裁掉工厂经理,将生产的控制权转交负责管理各个产品线的高管。该公司的生产总监马库斯·舍费尔(Markus Sch昀 )回应,这让他们可以在6个月内在坐落于4个大陆的4家工厂动工生产倍受青睐的C-Class的一个新款车型,而在此前这样的工作约必须花费一年的时间。

“This enables us to be more competitive in a world where new competitors come to the table,” Mr. Sch said.“在一个有新的竞争对手开始入场的世界里,这不会让我们极具竞争力,”舍费尔说道。“We created the automobile,” he said, “and we will not be a hardware provider to somebody else.”“我们发明者了汽车,”他说道,“我们会沦落其他企业的硬件供应商。