Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer Nissan Motor has cleared that it is not having any discussions with American technology giant Apple, following a report that the iPhone maker approached the company in recent months about a tie-up for its autonomous car project.
Earlier it was reported that the companies had brief discussions that got delayed over Nissan’s reluctance to become an assembler for Apple-branded cars, adding that the talks had not advanced to senior management level.
“We are not in talks with Apple. However, Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation,” a Nissan spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, representatives for Apple were not immediately available for comment.
Recently, the early-stage discussions between Apple and Hyundai Motor Group over the manufacturing of autonomous electric cars were also got failed due to the concerns within the South Korean automaker about becoming a mere contract manufacturer.
As per media reports that came in December, Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and it targets to manufacture a passenger vehicle that could include its breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.
Outsourcing production of some models through original equipment manufacturing (OEM) deals is common in the auto industry, but the industry does not have a major contract manufacturer in the way that Taiwan’s Foxconn serves the consumer electronics industry.
In 2021, however, China’s Geely has initiated several partnership deals including one with Foxconn and another with Chinese internet giant Baidu as it seeks to position itself as the go-to contract manufacturer for electric cars in China.