The analyst says that any automaker who does partner with Apple on an electric vehicle will most likely not benefit from the company’s software advancements.
“Apple will not help the company that ends up doing this … Apple will not share anything. The only benefit you’ll get from Apple is the volumes.”
Flowers also cast doubt on the idea of a potential partnership with Volkswagon, noting that VW is already on a path to creating its own operating system for its electric vehicle ambitions.
“Volkswagen wants to develop their own autonomous driving software, they want to create their own operating system. They want control over their own data. They want to compete with the tech guys, the Teslas of this world and anybody else who comes along … Then you ask them, ‘Will you, Volkswagen, be the contract manufacturer to a tech guy?’ I just don’t think they’re going to agree.”
Jürgen Pieper, an analyst at the German bank Metzler, says that smaller automakers who do not have the resources to develop their own self-driving technology might be a better fit for Apple. While Hyundai recently said its talks with Apple have ended, Pieper floated Honda, Nissan, Stellantis, and BMW as four other possibilites.
“Maybe BMW sees it a bit differently, saying, ‘OK, at some point we have to accept that Apple is entering the auto business, and if that is happening, we want to be the partner instead of anybody else,’ ” said Pieper.
The rumors continue to swirl around who might become Apple’s partner in manufacturing its electric, autonomous vehicle. Just today, JP Morgan pointed to Renault as a potential partner to the company.