With Hyundai apparently out of the picture, Apple may be leaning on the expertise of LG Electronics and Magna.
The much-rumoured Apple car may be produced by LG Magna e-Powertrain.
The two companies are said to be close to finalising an agreement to build Apple’s first car, according to a new report from newspaper The Korea Times.
Announced in December 2020, LG Magna e-Powertrain is the joint venture between Korean tech giant LG Electronics and the large Canadian automotive company Magna. Despite being only months old, the company is estimated to be valued at US$1 billion (AU$1.3B).
“LG Magna e-Powertrain is very near to signing contracts with Apple under which they could handle the initial volume production of Apple [electric vehicles],” a source familiar with the matter told The Korea Times earlier this week.
But added, “Contract details are still being discussed”.
While most will be familiar with LG’s consumer electronics products, those outside of the automotive industry may not be as familiar with the Canadian company Magna, which is a major supplier to the world’s top car makers. It’s understood Apple and Magna began talks around five years ago.
Above and bottom: Recent patent drawings from LG Electronics.
In the past, LG has supplied motors, battery packs, and other components for the Chevrolet Bolt, as well as to Tesla.
Magna’s experience in building vehicles on behalf of car brands, coupled with LG’s current relationship with Apple, make their joint venture an ideal candidate to produce the future Apple electric vehicle (EV).
“Because LG Group affiliates … are already included in Apple’s parts supply chain, Apple doesn’t have to worry about any supply chain issues,” the anonymous source said.
“These LG affiliates are qualified to guarantee production yields and faster delivery of parts needed for Apple EVs.”
According to the report, Apple plans to unveil its prototype vehicle in early 2024, with production expected to be based in North America.
While there is no suggestion of a link to Apple, LG Electronics has been busy patenting both exterior and interior vehicle designs in recent times. The company has been keen to enter the automotive space after it closed its smartphone business.
In February 2021, Hyundai confirmed Apple had “paused talks” with the Korean car maker, despite earlier rumours the two corporations were close to signing an agreement.
Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and is currently completing his MBA in Finance.
Ben Zachariah began publishing car reviews and opinion pieces before being appointed Motoring Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. Working throughout the automotive industry in various marketing and communications roles over the past 15 years, Ben has written freelance on the topics of cars and watches for a number of publications. He is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment, which combines his knowledge of finance, macroeconomics, and all things automotive. Ben lives in Melbourne and is currently completing his MBA in Finance. He enjoys music, road trips, and the outdoors.