After news came out that Hyundai is in talks with Apple over the manufacture of the Apple Car, a new set of rumours is filling the grapevine. This time around, talks surfaced that the tech giant is negotiating with multiple Japanese car manufacturers over the Apple Car.
Nikkei, a Japanese news site, revealed that Apple was consulting with several automobile manufacturers in Japan. An unnamed executive at an auto parts supplier in Japan reportedly said that there were at least six companies that are in negotiations with the tech giant.
It was reported that Apple is trying to get Japanese automakers to join its horizontal division of labor model in making the "Apple Car." This was the same model that the company applied in the production of its successful line of tech gadgets, which includes the iPad, iPhone, and other consumer products. In this model, Apple would be outsourcing the production of the much-awaited Apple Car to third-party manufacturers.
There might just be a bit of a stumbling block that Apple needs to hurdle before it can successfully negotiate a deal with any of the Japanese car manufacturers. Apple Insider reported that the Asian manufacturers are also facing a tough decision whether to work with the U.S. tech titan. It is expected that working with Apple could lead to more profits. However, Apple is reportedly very demanding of its suppliers. In addition, the report mentioned "major changes," which could mean diverting resources of the Asian companies.
Previously, unnamed Hyundai execs revealed that the company is not so keen on becoming solely a subcontractor. The same worry is said to be hounding Japanese manufacturers.
"I don't know if it will be decided by the Korean manufacturer. We are in the process of negotiating where (Apple) will make it," said a Japanese executive.
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. Although a South Korean news outlet, Dong-A, reported that Apple is planning to seal a four trillion won deal with Kia at the end of February, such could only be affirmed when it already happens.