LG Group would make a good partner for Apple’s car, analyst says

Analysts believe LG Group and Apple could be a match made in heaven for the US tech giant’s smart car ambitions. — Reuters

South Korea’s LG Group, whose businesses span consumer electronics companies to an electric vehicle battery maker, would make a good partner for Apple Inc as the US tech giant endeavours to make a clean, smart car of its own, an analyst at KB Securities Co wrote in a note on Dec 23.

“Apple should start shaping its own supply chain for EVs next year if it plans to sell a new car in 2026,” Kim Dong-Won wrote, with reference to a Bloomberg story earlier this month that said Apple has scaled back its ambitious self-driving plans and postponed the car’s target launch date by about a year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

ALSO READ: Apple scales back self-driving car and delays debut till ’26

There’s the possibility for a “partnership with LG Group, which has a full line-up for EV components,” Kim said.

KB Securities’ commentary also follows a local media report Thursday that said Apple has proposed cooperating with LG Group and LG Group has started forming an internal team to work on any collaboration, including staff from cell maker LG Energy Solution Ltd, auto parts maker LG Electronics Inc, and camera-module manufacturer LG Innotek Co. The report didn’t cite anyone by name.

A spokeswoman at LG Group said by phone that the report isn’t true, without elaborating.

There has been speculation before about whether Apple would consider a potential partnership with LG. In 2021, LG Electronics set up a joint venture with Canada’s Magna International Inc to develop EV parts while LG Energy Solution makes batteries for Tesla Inc and General Motors Co. LG Innotek and LG Display Co are among suppliers for Apple’s iPhone, Bloomberg data show.

The South Korean conglomerate is seeking to become a “total solution provider for EVs” by supplying various kinds of components, Kim said, adding that Apple is expected to sell not only vehicles but also subscription and platform services.

“Expectations are rising that Apple may develop an EV because of slow growth in its smartphones,” Kim wrote. “If so, LG Energy, LG Electronics, LG Innotek and LG Display may benefit from it.”

Shares in LG Electronics were trading 1.1% higher in Seoul on Friday while stock in LG Energy Solution was down 2.8%. – Bloomberg

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