As widely reported over the past few months, Apple has reached out to automakers like Hyundai and Nissan in an effort to strike a partnership for Apple Car production. Understandably, most automakers are hesitant to help Apple become a major competitor in their market.
A longtime manager at both Apple and Tesla Inc. said this would be like Apple asking bitter smartphone rival Samsung Electronics Co. to manufacture the iPhone. Apple wants to challenge the assumptions of how a car works -- how the seats are made, how the body looks, the person said. A traditional automaker would be reluctant to help such a potentially disruptive competitor, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.
It's believed that Apple is more likely to hire a contract manufacturer to build the Apple Car. This is a model that they are very familiar with and would eliminate any power struggles between the two companies. Contenders include Foxconn and Magna. Foxconn has recently branched out into car production, partnering with Fisker to manufacture a vehicle at a projected annual volume of more than 250,000. Magna already assembles luxury models for companies including BMW, Daimler AG and Jaguar Land Rover.
Magna is the most logical choice, says Eric Noble, president of consulting firm the CarLab. Noble has worked with the supplier on projects in the past and describes the company "amazingly good" at what they do.
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