Now that Hyundai/Kia is pretty much out of the picture as far as the rumored Apple Car project is concerned, who’s next? Who could wind up being Apple’s partner for the project? While some analysts believe that we could get an announcement in the coming months, it seems that Nissan is open to the idea.
During the company’s quarterly earnings conference call, Nissan’s CEO Makoto Uchida was asked about a potential collaboration with Apple on the Apple Car project now that Hyunda is out of the running. Uchida’s response was very diplomatic in the sense that he did not shoot down the idea, nor did he outright confirm anything. Instead, he made comments about taking new initiatives and how they need to work with companies that are knowledgeable and with good experience.
Unlike Hyundai’s statement, which was pretty much a confirmation back then, Uchida’s statements simply suggest that Nissan would not be opposed to exploring a potential partnership with Apple. Whether or not they are already in talks is unclear, but an earlier report did state that Apple was also in discussions with at least six Japanese car manufacturers, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Nissan was one of them.
In fact, equity analyst Mio Kato suggests that Nissan might actually be the most likely candidate out of the carmakers as they do have spare production capacity in the US, where Apple is hoping to have the car made.