Add Nissan to the list of automakers Apple has reportedly approached to discuss a joint effort on building an autonomous, electric vehicle.
According to the Financial Times, the talks happened “in recent months,” and they didn’t go very far; the two companies apparently disagreed over the branding of the car. The report says Apple wanted the car to be Apple-branded, and the Japanese automaker wasn’t happy with the idea of essentially becoming a hardware supplier for Apple.
The Financial Times says the talks are no longer active, and Nissan confirmed this to Reuters in a statement.
“We are not in talks with Apple. However, Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation,” a Nissan spokeswoman told Reuters.
Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta told the Financial Times that the company isn’t ready to change the way it makes cars. “The way we design, the way we develop, and the way we manufacture are going to be as an automotive manufacturer, like Nissan,” he said.
Like most major automakers these days, Nissan already has an electric car, the compact hatchback Leaf. The company also has an upcoming electric SUV called Ariya, scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in late 2021.
The new report comes after a flurry of reports in January that said Apple was talking to Korean automaker Hyundai (and/or its affiliate Kia) about making an Apple Car. A week ago, Hyundai said it’s not talking to Apple regarding the development of an autonomous car, and the talks reportedly ended in January.
Nikkei recently reported that Apple had approached at least six Japanese automakers about building an electric vehicle.