Magna International is the world’s largest contract manufacturer of vehicles, although it’s not a household name and it flies under the radar.
That means Magna would be perfect as Apple’s partner if the tech company ever did decide to make a car.
Magna could be to Apple’s car what Foxconn is for its iPhones – its main manufacturing partner.
That’s what a German publication reported earlier this year when it discovered that Apple had a secret lab in Berlin, suggesting its sources believed Apple was looking at a Magna factory in Austria.
In fact, a team of Magna engineers are working with Apple in its Sunnyvale car offices, reports Bloomberg.
Now Magna’s CEO is talking about technology companies becoming his customers.
“You could easily have enough business outsourced from the existing carmakers to fill up other contract assembly plants, or you could have new entrants that come in and say ‘I really want to have something but do I really want to manufacture vehicles?,'” Magna CEO Donald Walker told Bloomberg.
Magna is considering building or buying a new factory, possibly in China, the U.S., or Europe. It recently secured a deal to build BMW’s 5-Series – and Apple CEO Tim Cook has toured BMW factories in the past. The location is up in the air depending on Magna’s new customers.
“We don’t want to build something until we’ve got orders for it,” Walker said.
Previously, Magna stopped production of the Mini Countryman in its Austrian facilities, sparking speculation that it was freeing capacity for the production of the Apple Car.
Apple has a team of around 1,000 employees working on its electric, autonomous car, but recent reports suggest the company is finding the project more difficult than expected, and has refocused its energy on car software instead of a physical vehicle.
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