(Pocket-lint) – The Apple Car rumours are at the ‘no smoke without fire’ stage and now it’s been reported that Apple is negotiating deals with numerous Japanese companies in the supply chain.
The report comes from Nikkei, which suggests that at least six companies are reportedly involved in producing elements of the vehicle. Earlier this week it suggested that Apple was about to ink a $3.6 billion deal with Hyundai to assemble the vehicle in the US at Kia’s West Point facility in Georgia.
However, Nikkei also reports that the suppliers remain to be convinced as to the benefit of joining the Apple Car effort due to Apple’s strict provisions and the model that Apple uses – a horizontal division of labour – also used in the production of its other products; essentially splitting the whole production into smaller units so it’s more easily manageable and can be worked on by multiple suppliers.
Apple has a research and development facility in Yokohama and the supply chain effort is apparently being led from there.
Suppliers for the project probably aren’t that keen about a background role in the project and indeed Hyundai was apparently “agonising” over the deal as reported by Reuters, largely because the partnership could become a millstone and potentially undermine its own EV efforts.
Reports suggest the new vehicle will most likely use Hyundai’s E-GMP platform. At least 23 Hyundai and Kia models are already in the pipeline for that platform in the next few years.
Writing by Dan Grabham.