If Apple is really prepping to launch its own “Apple Car” vehicle(s), as press reports suggest, then the company will very likely decide to outsource assembly, as it does with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. Apple designs the hardware and operating systems but employs suppliers like Foxconn to build the finished products.
A red-hot trend in the car industry is for new entrants such as Fisker Inc. to hand over the complicated and capital-intensive work of engineering and building vehicles to a contract manufacturer.
There’s at least one big contract manufacturer ready to take advantage of these seismic industry changes: Canada’s Magna International Inc. “If Apple is serious about building a car … Magna Steyr should build it,” says Evercore ISI analyst Chris McNally. Even if Apple doesn’t come knocking, the manufacturer is already advising tech groups and start-ups looking to enter the automotive business, and investors have taken notice. Magna’s share price has almost trebled since March, giving it a $21 billion market value.
In 2019 Magna assembled almost 160,000 vehicles – more than many carmakers produce — and generated $6.7 billion of revenue from these activities. Together with joint venture partner Beijing Automotive Group Co. (BAIC) it recently added another facility in China, which is capable of producing 180,000 vehicles yearly. A north American plant might be next.
MacDailyNews Take: In October 2020, Wards Auto reported that beyond Magna Steyr’s home base in Graz, Austria, the contract vehicle assembler has expanded recently with new plants in China and Slovenia, and is eager to set up shop in North America, likely to assemble BEVs (battery-electric vehicles).
Regardless of where, it makes sense that Magna Steyr would be strongly in the running to build the Apple Car.
Beyond hybrids, BEVs and internal-combustion vehicles, Magna Steyr is looking to build vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, perhaps both commercial trucks and passenger cars.
[Frank Klein, Magna Steyr president] predicts there will be more than 1 million fuel-cell vehicles on the road by 2030.
“I strongly believe that hydrogen plays an important role in the auto industry in years to come,” he says. “We will see it first on the truck and bus side, but we have a clear strategy to also engineer and produce hydrogen vehicles in the future.”
Chemistry and physics have laws that can’t be broken… What if the secret to the “Apple Car” isn’t the battery, but the fuel cell? — MacDailyNews, February 25, 2015