Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nissan was “the most likely candidate” to be in talks with Apple about a potential Apple Car partnership. The report came after Hyundai/Kia, who had also been heavily floated as a potential partner, said that talks had broken down with Apple.
The Wall Street Journal report focused on comments made by Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida during a press conference.
Nissan is the latest car maker to signal its openness to a deal. As technology transforms the auto industry, “we need to take new initiatives” and “work with companies that are knowledgeable, with good experience, through partnership and collaboration,” said Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida on Tuesday. This was in response to a question about his willingness to partner with Apple at a press conference to discuss the Japanese car maker’s quarterly results.
Today, a report from the Financial Times (via Reuters) puts those Nissan rumors to rest. A spokesperson for the company said quite directly that Nissan is not in talks with Apple in any sense.
The Financial Times said the companies had had brief discussions that faltered over Nissan’s reluctance to become an assembler for Apple-branded cars, adding that the talks had not advanced to senior management level. “We are not in talks with Apple,” a Nissan spokeswoman said. “However, Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation.” The spokeswoman declined to comment further. Representatives for Apple were not immediately available for comment.
An earlier report from today indicates that Apple is essentially in a “dating game” to find a partner for its electric vehicle ambitions.