Bloomberg has published an interesting report on the possible partners that Apple could choose for the production of the Apple Car.
Bloomberg lists all the potential candidates, adding that Apple has not made any decisions about its Apple Car production partner at this time. Also, it is possible that the company still relies on Foxconn for the production of some components to be used on the next electric car or, even, for final assembly.
In fact, in 2020, Foxconn unveiled its chassis for electric vehicles and a new software platform for this type of car, intending to help car manufacturers to bring models to market faster. Foxconn is also aiming to release a solid-state battery by 2024.
Another possibility is Magna. This company is based in Canada, manufactures a variety of auto parts, and currently has close working relationships with companies such as BMW and Jaguar.
Among the Apple possible candidates, there could also be Nissan, but the possibilities are more remote than the two players just mentioned. Nissan already has its EV platform developed with French partner Renault, which will be used for the debut of the Ariya compact SUV later this year. The company has opened up to possible external partnerships.
In any case, one aspect that Apple will probably take into account when choosing a partner for the Apple Car is the availability of production capacity. With this in mind, one possibility is European carmaker Stellantis, which is facing a slump in sales. Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said at a January 19 press conference that Stellantis is willing to work with Apple or any electric vehicle technology company, “as long as it doesn’t create any technology dependency that would jeopardize the automaker’s future.”
Finally, there are Hyundai and Kia. Hyundai’s dedicated EV platform is tempting, but talks with Apple have been frozen. The big disadvantage of Hyundai and Kia is that they have blurted out the possible agreement with Apple, a company notoriously very sensitive to secrecy. Although the two automakers have said the talks are no longer ongoing, discussions could resume if Apple still sees them as the best possible partners.
Bloomberg also notes that Apple is likely to seek more partners for Apple Car manufacturing, including one for assembly and others for supplying key components.
No hope of an agreement with Tesla, indeed: the well-known analyst Gene Munster reports that Apple could become the biggest competitive risk that Tesla will face in the short term. Munster adds that he is surprised that Tesla shares have not been adversely affected by the growing rumors of the development of “Apple Car”. And he’s also surprised that Apple stock didn’t go up for this reason. In any case, the analyst believes that Apple will be Tesla’s biggest competitor and that there is absolutely no room for a possible partnership between the two companies.
Despite this, Munster said both companies can coexist in a future automotive market. Both Apple and Tesla have the potential to seriously challenge existing automakers, and Munster thinks the “next wave” in the electric vehicle market will come from the tech industry. Munster also predicts that, in ten years, Tesla could hold 25% of the global market share for electric vehicles, while Apple could achieve between 5 and 15 percent.
As for why Apple wants to enter the auto industry, the analyst says it is an addressable market:
“These are orders of magnitude larger than anything Apple has ever looked for before. What keeps tech companies awake at night is growth ”.
Finally, Munster confirms that Apple has not yet chosen any manufacturing partners at this time.