Japanese car part maker reportedly saw Apple Car schematics 2 years ago

Apple Car Concept
Apple Car Concept (Image credit: Vanarama)

What you need to know

  • An Apple employee reportedly showed Japanese A/C company Senden schematics of an electric vehicle back in 2020..
  • Senden has since suffered financial trouble and is no longer involved with any Apple Car plans.

The Apple Car project is one that's been around for years now and while we still haven't actually seen what Apple has been hard at work on, it seems at least someone has. That someone worked for Japanese car parts maker Senden when an Apple employee turned up for a meeting, schematics in hand. The meeting took place two years ago.

According to a Nikkei Asia report, the man arrived at a meeting at Senden's Texas offices with a folder that contained not only schematics to the car itself, but also its air conditioning system. It's the latter Senden was most interested in — the company is one of Japan's largest suppliers of car air conditioning systems.

Apple is said to have wanted Senden's help in getting the Apple Car into production, but that all went wrong when COVID-19 hit and the Japanese outfit found itself suffering more than most.

Apple and Sanden went on to discuss specific parts requirements. But Sanden's cash flow took a turn for the worse as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded. The company entered out-of-court talks with creditors on a debt resolution in June 2020, and its prospects of joining the Apple Car project faded.

It isn't really know what state the Apple Car project is in as we inch our way into 2022. We've heard talk of a prototype being ready in 2024 but at this point, few outside of Apple know what's going on. Whether we'll ever see a car with an Apple logo on the front remains to be seen, but there seems little doubt that is exactly what Apple had in mind in 2020.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.