Which company will build the Apple Car?

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.

vehicle under wraps

Chris Bryant for Bloomberg News:

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.

Tom Murphy for Wards Auto:

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


  1. outsourcing won’t be easy. first things first. they’lll have to be aligned with apple’s values. the more narrowly those values are defined, the more difficult the choice. hhmm, how about china

      1. My thoughts, exactly!

        Big Business Bucks and Cook is the master generator of profits with slave labor has NO conscience or values. For decades looked the other way using an iPhone from China. That will be the day though, I trust my life driving a Communist Car and could not give a rat’s arse what logo is on the hood.

        Yes, FIRE TIM COOK!…

  2. This is so sad. Trying to stir up interest in some AppleCar while Tesla is basically taking over the entire automotive industry by storm. Who cares about some fictitious AppleCar that won’t be available for years to come? Absolutely no one. Apple sells iPhones and is called The iPhone Company because almost nothing else Apple makes matters to Wall Street. Tesla has a P/E of 1500 compared to Apple’s P/E of 40. That is the strongest investor confidence I have ever seen for a company. Compared to Tesla, it appears investors think that Apple is going to collapse tomorrow while Tesla will be selling cars in high quantity decades from now.

    I don’t want to hear anything more about an AppleCar. Apple has to sell iPhones before anything else or the company’s value will plummet like a meteorite. Apple is far behind Tesla in mindshare and needs to focus on what it needs to do to get some of that mindshare back. 9 out of 10 investors would choose Tesla over Apple for an investment. That’s really pathetic for Apple. Talking about some non-existent AppleCar isn’t going to help increase Apple’s value, at all. The world is excited about Tesla and definitely not about Apple.

      1. Hal, I’m glad for you. Sometimes we are on the right side of a bubble.

        On the other hand, here’s a relevent parallel:

        “What were you thinking?” That is the rhetorical question Scott McNeely, CEO of SunMicrosystems, asked of investors paying a “ridiculous” ten times revenues for his stock at the height of the Dotcom Mania. The incredulity in his voice is amplified by the benefit of hindsight as McNeely gave the interview this quote was taken from in the wake of the Dotcom Bust, after his stock price had lost over 90% of its value.”

        The different is Tesla’s valuation is waaay beyond the Sun example.

    1. … and yet a few years back Tesla was offered to Apple. I presume that either Musk got bored with earthly pursuits or he failed to recognise the value in it. Fact is it has high costs, poor quality and ever increasing competition to deal with and strong battery innovations elsewhere. not to mention problems in its under performing solar division. It may conquer all those problems but if it doesn’t then it’s present value will mean little in 5 to 10 years so investors need to understand timing.

  3. Apple will not be selling an apple car to consumers.
    If they were to build an apple car how would they provide service? They are going to create an apple service division? Not likely. Maybe they are building a transport vehicle for themselves or their supply chain or just testing ar software, perhaps an extension of carplay that can control all aspects of the vehicle for self driving.
    They just invested huge resources overhauling their mapping service which will come in handy for self driving tech.

    1. EV’s don’t have the same service issues that ICE cars do. There are almost no moving parts. At Apple Stores it’s an issue of physical space, more than of technical capability.

      If Tesla can (sort-of) do it over almost 20 years, Apple certainly can do it well over the next 10.

      1. Yes, but they have a bit of a challenge beyond home-to-work use, use in cold weather climates and charging anywhere somewhat remote.

        Just these factors alone make it a product for a person with two cars and the EV is the boutique option.

        1. Great under estimation let’s see the situation in 5 years with the pressure of ICE vehicles being banned in much of the world in a decade. Manufacturers and eco systems will be under massive pressure to deliver. Meanwhile investment in ICE will be plateauing within 5 or 6 years as its future declines and as EV (and hydrogen as a further possibility) become inevitably cheaper and a far better option for most of the market.

  4. Yes, Magna Steyr will be Apple’s vehicles. No brainer, unless Apple wants to go price and unknown quality coming out of FoxConn or other CM’s out of China. China or Asian CM’s overall would just be a bevy of poor decisions made one after another go to with those companies in China, considering such volatility and the wise long-term play of building vehicles on a regional basis.

    Magna is building out a US and China facility, coupled with their current Canadian and German facilities (I believe Germany) already in place.

    Apple could pour billions into the manufacturing equipment and process for Magna, giving Apple #1 priority again and again and again. LG displays anyone?

    There are a dozen reasons why Magna would be the player to work with, and only one reason to not go with them – price.

  5. If Tesla vacate the Fremont CA site and move to Texas, that operation would be available. But I’m pretty sure Apple will get an Asian company to manufacture. Hyundai is Korean and may be a good fit.

    1. I think they may set up a joint company effectively run by a company like that but without the baggage of its down market brand which would not fit in with Apples status at least in the shorter term while re balancing occurs over time.

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