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Apple reportedly also spoke to Nissan about building a self-driving EV

Engadget logo Engadget 2/15/2021 Steve Dent
a car parked on the side of a road

After talks broke off between Hyundai and Apple about a partnership on a rumored self-driving EV, Hyundai said it believed that "Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motors." One of those other automakers is reportedly Nissan, which held talks with Apple "in recent months," according to the Financial Times. However, the discussions are "no longer active," according to the report. 

In a statement to Reuters, Nissan said that "we are not in talks with Apple," confirming that if any discussions did happen, they have since ceased. "However, Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation," the Nissan spokesperson added. 

According to the Financial Times, the talks were brief and didn't advance to senior management levels. The sticking point was apparently Apple's demand that Nissan build cars with Apple branding, essentially reducing it to an OEM.

"We have our own customer satisfaction, which comes by car. No way are we going to change the way we make cars," Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta told the FT, without confirming the rumor. "The way we design, the way we develop, and the way we manufacture is going to be as an automotive manufacturer, as Nissan." 

Rumors of an Apple car have been in overdrive since Hyundai confirmed rumors it was talking to Apple, then later said talks were no longer active. Rather than becoming a full-blown automaker itself, Apple reportedly wants an established car company to supply the EV platform, while it developed the tech hardware and software. It has spoken to a half dozen auto manufacturers about the project, according to Nikkei

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