A new report from Bloomberg today outlines several potential manufacturing partners that Apple could work with for Apple Car production. The report walks through multiple possibilities and speculates on why Apple might pick each company.
The Bloomberg report is meant to recap potential candidates, as it’s clear that Apple has not made any decision on a partner for Apple Car. With that in mind, the report leads with the suggestion that Apple could expand its relationship with Foxconn as part of its work on Apple Car.
The biggest piece of evidence here is that Foxconn unveiled its electric vehicle chassis and software platform last year, designed to “help carmakers bring models to market faster.” Foxconn is also aiming to release a solid-state battery by 2024.
Another possibility is Magna, something that has been rumored for years. Magna is based in Ontario, Canada, and currently has close working relationships with companies such as BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. Magna produces a variety of car parts.
The report also suggests Nissan as a potential partner for Apple, though it notes that this is “a long shot.”
Nissan already has a common EV platform developed with French partner Renault SA, which will be used for its Ariya compact SUV debuting later this year. When asked whether the Japanese company would be willing to build cars for Apple, CEO Makoto Uchida said during an earnings news conference that Nissan “has the DNA to do things others won’t do.”
One thing Apple is likely to factor into its decision when picking an Apple Car partner is availability of production capacity. With this in mind, one possibility is European automaker Stellantis, which is facing a sales slump:
Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares said during a Jan. 19 press conference that Stellantis is open to working with Apple or any tech company on EVs, “as long as it doesn’t create any technology dependence” that would jeopardize the automaker’s future.
Finally, there’s Hyundai and Kia. Hyundai’s dedicated EV platform is enticing, offering 311 miles of range and fast charging, but there’s the obvious issue of Hyundai confirming its talks with Apple last month.
The big disadvantage Hyundai and Kia have is the recent back-and-forth on whether they are developing a car for Apple, a notoriously secretive company. Although the two automakers have said talks aren’t happening, it’s possible discussions could restart if Apple deems them the best possible partners.
Bloomberg also notes that Apple is “likely to seek multiple partners” for Apple Card production, including one for assembly and others to supply key components.
Until last week, Hyundai and Kia Motors were seen as the clear front-runner to work with Apple on Apple Car production. Then, a report said that the companies had paused their negotiations, with Apple having been “upset” by Hyundai’s comment to the press acknowledging the talks. Hyundai and Kia subsequently confirmed in regulatory filings that it is not in talks with Apple about Apple Car production.
A variety of sources have said that Apple Car production could begin as early as 2024, but some have said this timeline could be a bit too aggressive.
You can find today’s full report over at Bloomberg. It’s well worth a read and includes some interesting tidbits on the company’s Apple could work with on Apple Car development.