Apple supplier LG Electronics and Canadian manufacturing powerhouse Magna International are apparently “very near” to signing a manufacturing deal that would help bring the long-rumored Apple Car to production, according to a new report.
- LG and Magna have an electrification joint venture.
- It’s close to signing a deal with Apple.
- Initial production volume will be low.
- Apple plans to test the waters with its first electric cars.
LG and Magna could build the Apple Car
LG Electronics and Magna International recently formed a joint venture focused on building electric motors, inverters and onboard chargers. Dubbed “LG Magna e-Powertrain” and valued at approximately $1 billion, this partnership is currently pending approval from LG shareholders, according to a press release on the Magna website.
Speaking to The Korea Times, sources familiar with the matter claim that the joint venture is “very near” to signing contracts with Apple under which they could provide the drivetrain and handle the initial volume production of electric vehicles for the Cupertino firm.
“Contract details are still being discussed,” sources added.
Initial production volume will be moderate as Apple reportedly plans on releasing its first electric vehicles as “an opportunity to evaluate their marketability.”
From the report:
Because LG Group affiliates including LG Display, LG Chem, LG Energy Solution and LG Innotek are already included in Apple’s parts supply chain, Apple doesn’t have to worry about any supply chain issues. These LG affiliate are qualified to guarantee production yields and faster delivery of parts needed for Apple’s electric vehicles.
The deal would be benefit LG, which has recently abandoned its handset business and urgently needs to produce tangible results from its vehicle component-related businesses:
As the LG brand is not that strong in the global electric vehicle industry, it needs a pretty competitive reference to show off its transformation efforts. From that standpoint, LG’s bet on the Apple electric vehicles is not that bad, and vice versa for Apple.
The story claims that an Apple Car prototype “will be teased” sometime in early 2024.
The first Apple Car prototype in early 2014?
This sounds a lot like when Apple sometimes previews products that won’t launch for several months. Apple is thought to be unleashing its electric vehicle project sometime in 2025. In that light, a public preview of the first Apple-branded vehicles the year before would make sense.
Magna already makes automotive electronics for companies. Influential German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported in 2016 that Apple planned to use Magna’s facilities in Austria to assemble its electric vehicles. Interestingly, Samsung SDI, which builds lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, acquired Magna International’s battery pack business in 2015.
Image credit: LG Electronics and Magna International Inc.