TOKYO (JAPAN) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd said on Monday that it dropped talks with Apple Inc over it’s autonomous car project, following a report that the iPhone maker approached the Japanese company in recent months about a tie-up.
The Financial Times had reported that the companies had had brief discussions that failed to take off 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.”
Shares in Nissan were sharply lower in early Monday afternoon trade, down 3.7% compared to a 1.4% rise for the Nikkei 225 benchmark.
Early stage talks between Apple and Hyundai Motor Group over autonomous electric cars also recently collapsed on concerns within the South Korean automaker about becoming a mere contract manufacturer.