MagnaSource: Magna

What you need to know

  • An Apple Car deal might be back on the table.
  • Apple is reportedly "very near" to signing a deal with LG and automotive supplier Magna.
  • Contract details are reportedly still being discussed.

A new report says Apple is "very near" to signing a deal with LG and Magna to build Apple Car that could see a prototype unveiled in "early 2024".

From The Korea Times:

LG Electronics' joint venture with Canada-based automotive supplier Magna International ― tentatively named LG Magna e-Powertrain ― is "very near" to signing contracts with Apple to build its early electric vehicle (EV) models.

"LG Magna e-Powertrain is very near to signing contracts with Apple under which they could handle the initial volume production of Apple EVs. Contract details are still being discussed," a source familiar with the issue told The Korea Times, Tuesday.

According to the report, production volume won't be that high in the first instance, as Apple is simply looking to test the waters, treating its first generation EV as "an opportunity to evaluate their marketability". Sources for the report says the move makes sense for both Apple and LG:

After LG Electronics officially abandoned its handset business, the company is urgently responding to investors' growing calls to produce results from vehicle component-related businesses. LG's smartphone exit could boost its margins and it could invest the money saved from the exit in vehicle component-related businesses.

"As the LG brand is not that strong in the global EV industry, it needs a pretty competitive reference to show off its transformation efforts. From that standpoint, LG's bet on the Apple EV is not that bad, and vice versa for Apple," another source said, adding the monetary volume of the partnership wouldn't be huge.

LG and Magna's joint venture is worth $1 billion, of which LG owns 51%. Back in March, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that Magna was a primary contender for an Apple Car deal. You can read that report here.

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Should Apple indeed foray into the automotive world, it would likely be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) product shifts in company history. Apple has been rumored to be working on a car, or perhaps an autonomous driving system for a number of years, with all recent reports pointing to a self-driving electric vehicle.