At the beginning of this year, rumors started swirling around that Apple was in talks with several carmakers for manufacturing the Apple Car, with Hyundai-Kia in the lead. That partnership talks fell through as confirmed by Hyundai with Apple now looking at all available options.
The latest rumor says that Apple had approached Nissan a few months ago for a potential Apple Car partnership. There were “brief” negotiations between the two companies, though the talks did not reach a higher level as they both disagreed on a lot of key metrics of the vehicle. Nissan was worried that it would end up becoming a hardware supplier to Apple as the Apple Car is only expected to feature the Cupertino company’s branding. Nissan’s COO Ashwani Gupta also said in an earnings presentation that while Nissan is open to partnerships, it won’t change the way it makes cars for this. The company has its own customer base to cater to.
Previous Apple Car rumors did suggest that Apple could partner with Nissan. The company was reportedly in talks with all six major Japanese automakers, though big ones like Honda and Toyota are not interested in the partnership as they do not have the idle resources and are too busy with the development of their own electric vehicles. Nissan, on the other hand, has some idle capacity that it could utilize for the Apple Car production. Hyundai executives were also unsure of the Apple Car partnership for the same reason as they did not want to end up playing second fiddle to Apple and affect their brand in the premium segment in any way.
Apple is seemingly looking for an Apple Car manufacturer, with the company intending to design the vehicle in-house. While the company has the expertise to do the latter, it does not have the resources to manufacture vehicles on a scale, and setting up a production unit could end up costing it billions of dollars.[Via Financial Times]