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Apple Car production: Shares of Japanese car companies rise on reports of talks

Two reports on claimed Apple Car production plans have emerged today. One suggests progress on the rumored $3.6B Hyundai deal to make up to 100,000 cars per year at a Kia plant in Georgia, while the other indicates that other manufacturers are still in the picture.

Apple is said to be in talks with at least six carmakers, with Japanese manufacturers seeing their share prices rise in response …

The WSJ mostly echoes earlier reporting, but does say that Hyundai is ramping up preparation for Apple Car production.

Hyundai has talked to Apple about investing more than $3 billion in a deal that would see its subsidiary Kia begin building cars under the tech company’s brand as soon as 2024, a person familiar with the matter said. Under such an agreement, up to 100,000 vehicles could be assembled in the first year in Georgia, where Kia has a factory, the person said […]

Recently, Hyundai-Kia officials have been reaching out to potential partners in preparation for a deal going through. “We are hearing encouraging things,” said a person briefed on the matter in Georgia.

Bloomberg reports on increased speculation about Apple talking with Japanese car companies.

Speculation that Apple Inc. is seeking a partner to develop its own electric vehicle swept through South Korea and Japan, where shares of major car companies climbed on reports of discussions with the maker of the iPhone […]

The Nikkei newspaper said Apple was in discussions with at least six automakers […] Tatsuo Yoshida, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said that Japanese automakers are usually too busy with their own development, manufacturing, sales and customer service to take on a task like working with Apple. However, Nissan Motor Co. or Mitsubishi Motors Corp. “don’t have much work, and are somewhat idle, so they might sign up,” he said.

When approached for comment, Mitsubishi and Subaru appeared to rule themselves out, while others offered no comment.

Ming-Chi Kuo suggested Apple would use Hyundai’s E-GMP chassis, whose specs include an 80% charge in 18 minutes, and a 60-mile range boost from a five-minute charge. Bloomberg suggests that Nissan has a similar chassis that may also be suitable for Apple Car production.

Among Japan’s carmakers, Nissan probably has the right solution for a non-automaker seeking to enter the EV market. The Japanese automaker has developed with French partner Renault SA a common EV platform that can be used by to develop distinct, branded products.

A CNBC report claimed that the first version of the car will “not be designed to have a driver.” As we noted at the time, a 2024 timescale for a fully autonomous car would be extremely ambitious on both technical and legislative fronts, so it’s unclear how much credence should be given to this.

Concept image: The Driven

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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