Roger Penske reportedly came this close to starting up a continuation of the Saturn line, he intended to contract out the actual manufacture but GM would not bridge the gap between when he could get a third party online to produce "his" cars and when they wanted to stop dealing with the Saturn line. Penske wasn't going to re-invent the glove box, he'd contract that out to people who already had that expertise. I expect Apple would do the same; with the electronics systems being the "Apple" part., the glovebox? Notsomuch.
Why would Apple go to the extraordinary lengths required to build an Apple Car, only to have "the car part" of design/engineering/manufacturing outsourced to a company that currently does so for other OEMs? Are you saying slap an "Apple Car" sticker, and the electronics, on the Saturn line? Doesn't sound that compelling.
More plausible is "owning the dashboard" of many companies, although that also has many challenges. But it at least is expanding the Apple ecosystem more broadly, and in a way that directly benefits Apple device owners. Who also have higher incomes on average than other handset vendors, and so are an attractive target for car manufacturers. The iPhone started with one carrier too, proved its success, and over the course of 7 years was then offered by all major mobile operators.
If the project is a focused urban ride share automated vehicle system Apple electronics is the crux, so why ever not contract out the mechanicals? OTOH They may just be doing a dashboard, but if they're doing a vehicle my bet is on a rideshare one and not one for private ownership as the demographics are shifting as has been pointed out, alongside that 80% of Americans that live in an urban area.
It sure reads like a lot of effort just for an improved CarPlay, but we'll see...
I agree that *if* the initiative is about urban rideshare, and not Apple "selling a car", it is possible that they would outsource much of the car parts development. And to note, it isn't the question of "manufacture outsourcing" that I question - Apple doesn't manufacture their products today - but rather then design & development of all the car systems & integrating that into a vehicle, which itself is a very large task (I would think).
Agree it is a mystery - if the rumours have any validity of course (it might be a lot of smoke but little fire).
I call BS - some ding dong saw pictures of HiRes imaging kits on the top of leased minivans. From that he says the logical conclusion is Apple is going into the auto manufacture/sales/support. Oh, and they are self driving (despite the fact that Apple has no such permit for that kind of testing) - thats why the imaging kit on top - NOT. Oh, and lets set the bar nice and low at a 10% share of the auto market ?
I think this is much more likely tied to mapping in a next generation 'street view' type feature for Maps using PrimeSense technology to get a much better view (IMHO a scalable model of what is scanned) to allow for the kind of cool stuff done after the Kinnect for Xbox was released. Just my guess - but take this with a grain of salt because I don't get paid to be a crazy clown like this notable professional ¡