Apple presented schematics of an electric vehicle to auto parts maker in 2020

In January 2020, a man in a suit showed up at Japanese auto parts maker Sanden’s Texas office, and introduced himself as a parts manager from Apple.

vehicle under wraps

Yukihiro Omoto, Ryo Asayama and Ryotaro Yamada for Nikkei Asia:

The man said Apple wanted to make electric vehicles and needed Sanden’s help on high-performance components, according to people familiar with the conversation. Slowly and deliberately, he presented schematics of an EV and air conditioner parts.

Sanden is one of Japan’s largest suppliers of vehicle air conditioner parts, but it is independent from the country’s big automotive groups.

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.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Apple is attempting to make a vehicle of some sort.

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6 Comments

  1. Highly unlikely that this happened. No Non-Disclosure Agreement? A guy with a folder just shows up and starts blabbing about an Apple car schematics and plans? Apple does not do business this way.

  2. Not sure what to believe in regard to the AppleCar. Last we heard it was now going to be self driving with no manual override. However such a design is many years away in anything but limited use scenarios and would be a hard sell even if it were possible. So that seems like bs for the most part especially when we hear stories of this nature where production contracts are at least in exploratory stages. Equally novel battery technology as reported isn’t going to be novel in even 5 years time so from my perspective there seems to be a lot of misinformation coming out here. Fact is if a vehicle isn’t coming to market within 3 years it’s going to be extremely difficult to make an impact when one sees all the innovative prototypes already on show and impressive cars coming to market by established players. Hell even Sony has been showing show cars for 18 months or so and onto their second gen versions already. So Apple will need to pull their finger out or this might just be another speaker debacle where all the talk is about Apple but they end up being years later than the opposition in bringing it to market and having to play expensive catch up to be even relevant.

    1. In the U.S. about 2% of new car sales are “EV” (that includes fuel cell, hybrid, all electric). By 2025 the one projection I’ve seen is 4 or 5% of sales. EVs are still in their early stages and wide open for entry by Apple or anyone else. It is true there are a number of EV companies and designs. A few may make it, Many will never make it, some just won’t be able to quite get there due to inability to meet production with cash burn, parts issues or unable to keep cost ratios in line possible causes. .
      Apple is wide open to enter into the market in several years but would be foolish to enter into it without a solid product differentiator. Their name is a gold standard and is worth more than getting something out by 2024. A flop/unreliable EV would be worse IMHO than releasing no product at all. An Apple EV is a HUGE deal that will be front page news around the world — so Apple needs to get it right right from the start. Otherwise imho should abandon the project or take it in a new direction.

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