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Rumor mill: Despite years of rumors, Apple still hasn't revealed its plans for the Apple Car. But a new report suggests the electric vehicle project is still moving forward, with the company "very near" to signing a deal that will see LG and Canadian auto parts supplier Magna become manufacturing partners.
According to a Korean Times source, Apple wants to sign up with the two companies' joint venture, tentatively named "LG Magna e-Powertrain," which was announced in December. If Apple does ink the deal, it would see the firms produce the initial batch of Apple Cars.
It's also reported that the vehicle's initial production volume won't be high, as Apple wants first to assess its EV's marketability.
Teaming up with LG has its advantages. Apple is one of several tech firms that use LG's subsidiaries for their components. "Because LG Group affiliates including LG Display, LG Chem, LG Energy Solution and LG Innotek are already included in Apple's parts supply chain, Apple doesn't have to worry about any supply chain issues. These LG affiliate are qualified to guarantee production yields and faster delivery of parts needed for Apple EVs," said the source.
When LG finally announced its exit from the phone business earlier this month, it said one growth area where it would be focusing its resources was electric vehicle components.
Assuming the deal goes ahead, the first prototype of the Apple Car is expected to be teased sometime in 2024.
Reports at the start of the year claimed Apple was close to forming a partnership with Hyundai and its sister firm Kia to build its car, but the automakers backed away in February. It's believed that Apple wants the car branded solely with its name, something Hyundai and Kia weren't happy about.
"As the LG brand is not that strong in the global EV industry, it needs a pretty competitive reference to show off its transformation efforts. From that standpoint, LG's bet on the Apple EV is not that bad, and vice versa for Apple," said another Koran Times source.
Apple's electric vehicle ambitions stretch back to 2015 when the EV was known as Project Titan. The plans stalled in 2017, but it looks as if the Apple Car is back on track.