While officially there’s no Apple Car in the works, the Cupertino-based tech giant has been increasingly active behind the closed doors, especially as it’s believed the company is nearing the final development stages and is now getting ready for trial production and prototype designing.
However, the iPhone maker has reportedly reached the phase where it’s trying to establish supplying deals with parts manufacturers around the world, with the top priority currently is finding someone to build the Apple Car in the first place.
The most recent report comes from Digitimes, an outlet with a mixed track on Apple scoops and which indicates that Apple executives are visiting Asia to discuss such deals with a series of third parties.
South Korea’s SK Group and LG Electronics have reportedly been involved in supply talks with Apple earlier this year, and now the iPhone maker is trying to find out who else could be part of its manufacturing plans for the Apple Car.
And one big name that could join forces with the company is none other than Toyota, though, at this point, it’s believed the talks are still in their early phases with no decision to be made anytime soon.
Apple reaching out to Toyota for a manufacturing deal is a little surprising, especially as the company was believed to be favoring a collaboration with a joint venture formed by LG and Magna. This would have allowed Apple to embrace an approach similar to the one it uses for the iPhone, and instead of working with a traditional carmaker, it would have joined forces with a contract manufacturer.
Previously, Apple held talks with Hyundai, but the negotiations came to an end abruptly after the South Koreans spilled the beans on the project, essentially confirming the Apple Car is a real thing.
This approach didn’t sit well with Apple’s big honchos, so the iPhone maker eventually gave up on the talks, trying to find another party to handle the production of the Apple Car.
According to sources with knowledge of the matter, Apple also held talks with Nissan, Renault, and several other carmakers.