After Hyundai and its affiliate Kia, Apple has now failed to convince Nissan Motor Co Ltd. to work on its secretive autonomous car project. Also Read: Apple puts plan of building electric car with Hyundai and Kia on “pause”
Broad view: Apple is looking to hop onto autonomous car bandwagon and is looking to manufacture passenger vehicles by 2024. The company is already working on next-gen battery technology that will hopefully give it an edge over Elon Musk’s Tesla vehicles. Also Read: Apple iCar? Self-driving car with “next level” battery tech from iPhone maker could be a reality in 2024
Nissan goes Hyundai’s way: The talks with Apple are failing as most car manufactures fear that they will end up becoming like Foxconn of the auto industry. Also, companies like Nissan, or even Hyundai, have no experience in manufacturing cars for other companies. Also Read: Yes! Baidu is building smart electric vehicles in partnership with Geely
According to the Financial Times, the talks about developing an autonomous car between Apple and Nissan never really reached the senior management level and fell apart over branding issues.
Nissan’s justification: Nissan, headquartered in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan, has said that the company is ready to explore a partnership with technology firms where they adjust their services to its products and not vice-versa. Nissan already works with Google and other startups.
Nissan also said that it is not going to stop being a car designer and manufacturer and is only looking for a service provider for autonomous car projects.
Chinese threat: China is racing ahead with its home-built electric cars courtesy Geely – an Hangzhou, Zhejiang based automotive giant. Geely has already tied up with Baidu and Foxconn to produce electric cars and is positioning itself as a major contract EV manufacturer. Other major Chinese threats include names like Chery Automobile Cy. Ltd., BYD, SAIC, NIO, Byton and more. Also Read: NIO unveils electric ET7 sedan with 621-mile range, 150-kWh battery pack, and LiDAR sensors to take on Elon Musk’s Tesla
What’re they saying: “Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation”, a Nissan spokeswoman said according to Reuters.
Apple representatives have not yet commented on the news reports.