Nissan Motor Co. Ltd has refuted claims it is in talks with Apple Inc. for an autonomous car project, according to Financial Times. The talks reportedly collapsed over Nissan’s reluctance to become an assembler for Apple-branded cars.

  • Nissan said it was open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation after denying Apple’s talks.
  • Early stage talks between Apple and Hyundai Motor Group over autonomous electric cars also recently collapsed on concerns that the latter would become a mere contract manufacturer.
  • Reports emerged in December that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and aimed to produce a passenger vehicle as early as 2024.
  • Although outsourcing production of some models through original equipment manufacturing deals is common, the auto industry lacks a major contract manufacturer. 
  • This year, China’s Geely announced a flurry of tie-ups including one with Foxconn and internet giant Baidu Inc. as it seeks to position itself as a go-to contract manufacturer for electric cars in China. 

Nissan stock is currently declining as Apple gains. 7201: TYO is down 2.84%, AAPL: NASDAQ is up 0.044% on premarket