Korean Manufacturers Race to Secure Place in Apple Car Supply Chain

BY Anu Joy

Published 12 Jan 2022

Apple is working on procuring Korean suppliers for its electric vehicle, the Apple Car. Korea’s ETNews reports that the company’s representatives visited South Korea last month to scout for firms manufacturing electronic components. They expressed interest in working with companies that had experience in mass production.

The report suggests that Apple’s focus is on finding a Korean manufacturer for the batteries of its electric car. The iPhone maker reportedly wants to manufacture battery materials for the Apple Car directly. Some firms have allegedly dropped out of the race owing to the intense secrecy surrounding the electric vehicle project. It is reported that the Cupertino-based company has offered equity investment to a domestic electronics parts manufacturer in exchange for doubling the production capacity. There is no word on whether the firm has accepted the offer.

Korean “Task Force”

Apple representatives earlier visited South Korea in the summer of 2021 to discuss electric vehicle batteries with LG and SK. The iPhone maker’s interest in Korean manufacturers has allegedly sparked a race to secure a place in Apple Car’s supply chain. The competition is so fierce that some firms have been said to form a “Task Force” to actively comply with Apple’s requests.

As discussions are still at an early stage, parts suppliers have been kept in the dark regarding exact specifications of the Apple Car. They have been reportedly asked to keep their lips sealed, and any slip-up could lead to them being removed from the car’s parts supply chain.

The Korean news outlet reports that Apple could secure suppliers for its electric vehicle by the end of this year. Reuters earlier claimed that we can expect it to go into production by 2024 and feature ‘next level’ battery technology. However, latest reports suggest that it is at least half a decade away from launch. The company has been struggling to find a partner, with a Kia-Hyundai partnership falling through. It now appears that Apple will be developing its electric car by itself.

[Via ETNews]