Marchionne is, according to Bloomberg, a self-proclaimed "Apple freak" who owns every kind of product Apple makes. He suggests that he understands the tech company's needs and wants. "Apple has a language, and you have to be able to speak that language," said Marchionne. "Usually the industry comes into that dialogue with a high degree of arrogance as we know how to make cars. That's not very helpful as their syntax is worth more than our ability to build cars."
By "syntax," we assume Marchionne means Apple's sleek and modern design language more than the code behind its software. It's interesting to note that the FCA CEO seems to indicate that Apple would bring more to any partnership than the automaker would. Fair or not, we'd wager that more buyers would care about a potential Apple Car's design and branding than would be concerned with which automaker helped assembled it.
A partnership with Apple may be exactly the kind of cure that the FCA CEO believes ails the auto industry. After finding it impossible to further pursue industry consolidation, a tie-up with the massive tech industry, particularly Apple, could generate some much-needed positive cash flow. At present, though, it's all just conjecture – Apple hasn't offered any hints as to the true nature of its so-called Project Titan automotive project, and doesn't seem likely to anytime soon.