The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently published an article stating that the Apple Car (iCar?) will be built in Austria by the firm Magna. The information seems to have originated with unknown “informed sources,” so who knows how serious it should be taken.
Other details (rumors) that were reported in the German newspaper’s coverage include: the claim that the first offering may not be autonomous; that the car won’t be released until 2019 at the earliest; and that carsharing services are likely to be a choice rather than outright direct purchase.
The coverage also claims that Apple is currently operating a “secret” development facility in Berlin, and that the company has already created “concrete plans” to sell the offering in the German market.
Magna is a conglomerate that makes major components for many automakers. It also builds completed cars for clients. It is presently involved in the production of the BMW i3 and certain models of the MINI. Reportedly, it would transfer the MINI business to other locations to make room for the Apple Car.
Magna CEO Don Walker told the press last year, “We are, in my opinion, the best contract manufacturer in the world. (With) our ability to do small volume niche vehicle production and help with the engineering and the launch and the procurement … we’d be a logical person for anybody if they have small volume or (are) a new entrant coming out.”
Lyle Dennis, who runs Apple Car Fans, tells AutoblogGreen he thinks the rumored German connection is true. “I suspect this is real. There have been discussions between Apple and BMW. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did build the Apple car there.” Asked to comment on the story by FAZ, Apple characteristically said it “does not comment on rumors and speculation.”