Apple is reportedly close to signing a new deal with the LG-Magna JV called LG Magna e-Powertrain for the production of what will be the Apple Car. This report comes from the Korean Times. As per the contract, the JV will produce the initial rounds of the Apple Car production. Apple's first car is expected to be launched not before 2025. The partnership is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. This news comes after Apple pursued Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia for the production at a value of $4 billion, however that deal fizzled through.
Apple is looking for a manufacturing partner on the lines of a Foxconn which helps manufacture iPhone, iPad, MacBooks but doesn't take any branding on the product itself. In the automotive industry, Apple's challenge has been finding such a partner. The LG-Magna e-Powertrain JV could be the ideal link up. LG-Magna e-Powertrains already supply parts like battery packs, motors to companies like Tesla, GM, Ford, BMW. Magna also worked with Sony for its electric car project.
Apple has been developing an electric car with unique self-driving technology which has been dubbed project titan. It has been in development since 2015 and the development has been slow. Most recently, the project was being handled by Apple's AI chief John Giannandrea. Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Kara Swisher in the NYT Sway podcast that Apple was interested in the unification of hardware, software and services, though he didn't acknowledge the existence of the Apple Car.