Apple is close to signing a partnership with LG and Canadian manufacturing giant Magna International. The three would work to bring the long-rumoured Apple Car to production.
According to a new report from the Korea Times, production volume won’t be that high in the first instance, as Apple is simply looking to test the waters, treating its first generation EV as “an opportunity to evaluate their marketability.”
The Korea Times notes:
The production volume the joint venture could handle won’t be that huge as Apple is mostly intending to use its first-generation EVs as an opportunity to evaluate their marketability, according to the source. “Because LG Group affiliates including LG Display, LG Chem, LG Energy Solution and LG Innotek are already included in Apple’s parts supply chain, Apple doesn’t have to worry about any supply chain issues. These LG affiliate are qualified to guarantee production yields and faster delivery of parts needed for Apple EVs.”
Sources for the report says the move makes sense for both Apple and LG:
After LG Electronics officially abandoned its handset business, the company is urgently responding to investors’ growing calls to produce results from vehicle component-related businesses. LG’s smartphone exit could boost its margins and it could invest the money saved from the exit in vehicle component-related businesses.
“As the LG brand is not that strong in the global EV industry, it needs a pretty competitive reference to show off its transformation efforts. From that standpoint, LG’s bet on the Apple EV is not that bad, and vice versa for Apple,” another source said, adding the monetary volume of the partnership wouldn’t be huge.
None of the three companies immediately returned a request for comment on the report, but according to the Korean newspaper’s sources, Apple will tap LG for an electric powertrain designed with Magna, while the latter handles production of the vehicle. The deal should become public sometime this year.
LG and Magna’s joint venture is worth $1 billion USD, of which LG owns 51 percent.