[ The Wall Street Journal ] Daisuke Wakabayashi:
There are many unanswered questions about Appleâ€™s automotive foray. It isnâ€™t clear whether Apple has a manufacturing partner to become the car equivalent of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that builds most iPhones and is known by the trade name Foxconn. Most major auto makers build and run their own factories, but that hasnâ€™t been Appleâ€™s strategy with iPhones or iPads. Contract manufacturing in the auto industry usually is limited to a few niche models.
Designed in Cupertino. Manufactured in Fremont (Tesla).
Apple has moved away from mass manufacturing physical products and Apple will likely continue to contract manufacture its Apple Car. The best bet would be Tesla. Tesla is one of the best — robot-based high-quality automated manufacturing — and is looking to scale up, to bring costs down. Apple can help scale.
Tesla is local too: made in the U.S.A., and right next door to Apple. Apple’s initial target market will probably be Silicon Valley. So an Apple-Tesla joint venture could be profitable for both. But this is all conjecture and it might be a long time before we get to sit in an Apple Car.