Apple Suppliers Envisioning Long-Term Apple Car Supply Chain
Apple suppliers are positioning to manufacture and assemble the company's long-rumored electric vehicle (EV), according to a report from DigiTimes.
The report claims that Foxconn, the colossal manufacturer behind most iPhone models, and Luxshare Precision, the assembler behind Apple devices such as AirPods, are angling to produce Apple's car. Foxconn has moved into EV manufacturing and last year unveiled a chassis and a software platform to help carmakers bring models to market faster. Meanwhile, Luxshare is collaborating with Chinese automaker Chery to build EVs.
According to industry sources speaking to DigiTimes, while Apple is unlikely to work with Foxconn and Luxshare immediately, the suppliers are positioned to play a key role in Apple's future vehicle plans. South Korea's Hyundai and Canada's Magna International are said to be best placed to partner with Apple initially and can provide better manufacturing expertise and infrastructure than Foxconn or Luxshare Precision. Both Hyundai and Magna have been at the center of plausible Apple car rumors, and Hyundai has even publicly confirmed its discussions with Apple.
Instead, Foxconn could gradually build up its presence in Apple's vehicle supply chain over time by leveraging its existing relationship with the company, its newly-developed EV platform, electronic component manufacturing capabilities, and experience from collaborations with automakers like Stellantis and Fisker.
Apple is expected to need to manufacture cars for the China market almost entirely in China. For example, Apple cars for the United States market are likely to have batteries supplied by South Korea's LG, SK On, or Samsung, while Apple cars for the China market are likely to be supplied by China's CATL and BYD. Luxshare is said to be closely in alignment with Apple's EV manufacturing needs for the China market and is reportedly preparing for the vehicle's debut in the country.
The sources also said that it is too early to assume that Apple has finished designing its EV and carried out road testing. Reuters believes Apple is aiming to begin production on its car in 2024, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes it will be 2025 to 2027 at the earliest before the vehicle is ready for launch.