Apple could be going for a tried and tested approach by partnering with the likes of Foxconn and Magna to manufacture its upcoming car. The company would be doing the design in-house and managing deals for components, while the assembly will be done through contract manufacturers.
Apple might work with Foxconn for its car
The Cupertino giant has been looking into partnering with existing carmakers, however, nothing has come out of the talks so far. From the perspective of the carmakers, they are concerned with partnering with a new entrant in the market and becoming a mere assembler rather than pushing their own brand.
As per Bloomberg, Apple working with an existing automaker would be like Apple working with Samsung to manufacture the iPhone.
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.
Bloomberg reports that Apple might stick to the same business model that it has perfected – working with contract manufacturers, just like it does with iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Macs. This will allow it to maintain the high-profit margins that it is used to with its other products. This will also allow Apple to dictate what exactly it wants, something that it would not be able to do in a partnership with another automaker.
An Apple employee involved in manufacturing said Foxconn is used to having Apple engineers tell it what to do and that the company’s factories are already filled with Apple-designed equipment. The person asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters.
No matter what the final approach is for Apple to manufacture its self-driving electric vehicle, it is going full steam ahead with the design for its car. It is hiring talent for its “special projects group”, which is the team working on its EV, and figuring out its plan for logistics and supply chain.
For its part, Apple appears to be designing its car with production in mind. The company recently posted a job listing seeking a “senior hands on manufacturing engineer” for its special projects group, the team leading its work on a car. The candidate will be responsible for growing a team of engineers focused on manufacturing strategy and the supply chain. The person is also required to have experience working with aluminum, steel and composites, key materials in cars.