(Adds comment on meeting with Apple's Cook, further quotes on
Ferrari IPO, luxury SUV plans)
By Allison Martell
OAKVILLE, Ontario May 9 Fiat Chrysler
Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Saturday that he had
visited the heads of Tesla Motors Inc and Apple Inc
during a recent trip to California.
Marchionne, speaking on the sidelines of the opening of a
Maserati dealership near Toronto, said he had met with Apple
Chief Executive Tim Cook and Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk,
among others, on the trip, during which he also rode in Google
Inc's self-driving car.
"I'm incredibly impressed with what that kid has done," he
said, referring to Musk.
With regard to Apple's Cook, he said: "He's interested in
Apple's intervention in the car, that's his role." Marchionne
was not more specific about Apple.
Sources have said Apple has been developing its own electric
self-driving car. The company has been open about wanting to
integrate its core iOS software into autos with a system called
CarPlay, which allows drivers to access information on their
iPhones without taking their hands off the streering wheel.
The Fiat chief declined to elaborate or describe the
meetings in any more detail.
Various automakers have been eyeing potential collaboration
with Apple and Google even as they view their efforts to develop
electric and self-driving cars as a potential competitive
It is less typical for major automakers' CEOs to meet with
their counterpart at Tesla, which has not collaborated much with
Turning to Fiat's planned initial public offering of 10
percent of sports car maker Ferrari, Marchionne said it was on
track to happen in the third quarter.
He also pledged that Fiat Chrysler would make a stronger
entry in the realm of luxury sport utility vehicles.
"When I see a Range Rover on the street, my blood boils,
because we should be able to do a thing like that, and we will,"
(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Christian Plumb and