Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has told a German newspaper that Google and Apple have made more progress on automotive projects than he had previously assumed.

"Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought," Zetsche told Welt am Sonntag.

Zetsche recently undertook a visit to Sillicon Valley and met with companies there, the report said. He told the newspaper that the purpose of the visit was to see what drives the tech companies in Sillicon Valley and how it can be of benefit to Daimler.

Google and Apple are both working on entry strategies for the automotive space, but few details of their car programmes have been made public. Analysts expect the companies to focus on driverless cars with a higher degree of fleet utilisation than is commonplace now, possibly via the adoption of shared economy business models. 

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By GlobalData