Magna and Foxconn said to be main contenders for Apple Car partnership
Apple may not partner with an automaker to build the Apple Car. Bloomberg claims that Apple has three options to build the smart car, two of which are unlikely to happen.
The first option would see Apple develop the autonomous system, the interior and exterior design, and on-board technology, while leaving the manufacturing to the automaker. Talks with several automakers were reportedly stalled as they were reluctant to lose their branding and be a contract assembler.
The second option requires Apple to build its own manufacturing facilities, which will cost billions of dollars and incur new liabilities and signing of complex deals with local governments. Apple also need to train and pay a huge team of workers to build the smart car. In addition, factories are low-margin businesses and Apple generally assigns the manufacturing to its partners.
The third and most practical option is to go with a contract manufacturer who is already familiar with the way Apple works. As the main assembly partner for the iPhones, Foxconn is seen as a strong contender. It has already ventured into the auto business by introducing an electric vehicle chassis and software platform.
Magna is another potential candidate; both companies were said to be in talks more than four years ago. Magna builds limited-edition models for major car brands such as BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Apple Car is expected to launch in 2025 at the earliest according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. CNBC claimed the first-gen Apple Car will be autonomous and designed not to have a driver.
Source: Bloomberg via MacRumours