Bye, Hyundai! Nissan looks like ‘most likely’ Apple car partner now

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Nissan
Apple's next manufacturing partner?
Photo: Jonathan Gallegos/Unsplash CC

Nissan is the latest automaker mentioned as a possible manufacturing partner to produce the rumored Apple car.

Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s CEO, was asked about teaming with Apple at a press conference Tuesday. Uchida responded that Nissan should be looking to “work with companies that are knowledgeable, with good experience, through partnership and collaboration,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

That’s not exactly a “yes,” but it’s certainly not a “no,” either.

The newspaper also quotes Mio Kato, an equity analyst who publishes on the Smartkarma research platform. Kato says Nissan is the “most likely candidate” to be in serious discussions with Apple.

Nissan reportedly has “spare capacity to fill” when it comes to manufacturing, having “overexpanded” in the United States in recent years.

The post-Hyundai rebound

In early January, Hyundai said it had participated in conversations with Apple. Initial reports claimed Apple and Hyundai would sign a deal by March, and start production around 2024 in the United States.

From there, the story shifted to a deal between Apple and Hyundai subsidiary Kia. (Supposedly, Hyundai execs did not want the company to become known as simply an Apple supplier.) Last week, Apple and Kia reportedly stood on the brink of a $3.6 billion deal to build Apple cars in Georgia. However, this week we hear that talks between the companies broke down.

When will Apple car arrive?

Personally, I’m not sure what to make of all the Apple car rumors. Apple is certainly working on some kind of self-driving car tech. But the timelines floated so far — such as an Apple car rolling out in 2024 or 2025 — seem hopelessly optimistic. Not just regarding full autonomy, but also with regard to the kind of government regulation that will allow self-driving cars. Either way, I’m fascinated to see how this plays out.

What are your Apple car predictions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: The Wall Street Journal