Potential Partners For An Apple Car Grow In Number, With Nissan The Latest To Express Interest

Ever since reports suggested that Apple Inc AAPL has rekindled its electric car ambitions, several potential partners have been named.

The latest to throw a hat into the ring is Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co Ltd NSANF.

Nissan Joins The Party: Nissan, which is slowly steadying its ship after a COVID-19 downturn, is open to exploring a partnership with Apple.

This became evident from Nissan's CEO Makoto Uchida's comments when he was asked about a potential partnership with Apple at a press conference to discuss the automaker's recent quarterly results.

"As technology transforms the auto industry, we need to take new initiatives and work with companies that are knowledgeable, with good experience, through partnership and collaboration," Uchida reportedly said.

Related Link: 10 Things Apple Investors May Wish For In 2021

Growing Interest In Partnership? When the Apple Car rumors resurfaced late last year, it was speculated that Apple could be working with foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. TSM in making chips for a self-driving car.

Later, South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Company GDR HYMTF confirmed that it is in talks with Apple regarding EV manufacturing, although it subsequently said it is negotiating with multiple automakers.

Reports that emerged over last weekend suggested the talks between Hyundai and Apple fell apart.

French automaker Renault ADR RNLSY could be a better fit as a potential partner for Apple, according to JPMorgan analysts. Renault's contract manufacturing experience, industrial collaboration and its massive idle capacity in Europe could be selling propositions for a potential partnership, the analysts said.

Incidentally, Apple's iPhone supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.-ADR HNHPF, popularly known as Foxconn, announced in mid-January a partnership with Chinese automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd GELYF to offer whole vehicles, parts, intelligent drive systems, automotive ecosystem platforms and the EV industry value chain.

See also: How To Buy Apple Stock

Even as speculation abounds, one thing looks certain for now: Apple's EV plans could be long-term given the manufacturing intricacies and regulatory issues involved.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said the chances are high that Apple stitches up a partnership with the likes of Tesla Inc TSLA or Volkswagen A G Unsponsored Represent 1 10th Sh ADR VWAGY or other auto manufacturers in China such as Nio Inc – ADR NIO and Xpeng Inc – ADR XPEV.

"This could lay the groundwork for a dual path of starting to build its own line of EV autos post 2025 if this EV/autonomous venture is successful with consumers, the analyst said in a note. 

Related Link: Apple Is Better Off With Cryptocurrencies Than EVs: Analyst

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