SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The chief of automaker Daimler told a German publication that Apple and Google have made more progress on their efforts in the automotive world than he had 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,” Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told German weekly publication Welt am Sonntag.

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Zetsche is also Head of Mercedes-Benz.

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Zetsche met with dozens of Silicon Valley companies, the paper reported.

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“There were concrete talks. I will not say anything about the content. It was not just about the fact that there is an innovative spirit in the Valley. We know that already. We wanted to see what drives it, and all the things that can be created from it,” Zetsche told the paper.