Apple is reportedly still shopping the Apple Car around to at least six Japanese automakers.
Citing an executive at an automotive parts supplier, Nikkei (via AppleInsider) reports Apple is negotiating deals with a number of Japanese companies that could result in contributions to the much-rumoured Apple Car.
The report suggests that at least six companies are reportedly involved in producing elements of the vehicle. Earlier this week many media outlets suggested that Apple was about to ink a $3.6 billion USD deal with Hyundai to assemble the vehicle in the US at Kia’s West Point facility in Georgia.
However, Nikkei also reports that the suppliers remain to be convinced as to the benefit of joining the Apple Car effort due to Apple’s strict provisions and the model that Apple uses — a horizontal division of labour — also used in the production of its other products, essentially splitting the whole production into smaller units so it’s more easily manageable and can be worked on by multiple suppliers.
Analyst Tatsuo Yoshida from Bloomberg believes that Japanese automakers like Toyota and Honda are too busy with the development of their own electric vehicle and autonomous driving technology so they are unlikely to partner with Apple. Nissan or Mitsibushi, on the other hand, do have idle resources, so there’s more potential that they might sign a deal with Apple.
With the rumoured talks between Apple and a number of Japanese carmakers, it would seem that the U.S. giant is still weighing options with regards to inking a deal with an Asian car manufacturer for its Apple Car.