Not to be confused with the official Apple car.
We're starting to see technology companies not normally associated with cars attempt to make their first foray into the auto industry. Sony surprised everyone when it unveiled the Vision-S concept car last year and we're still waiting for Apple's long-rumored autonomous car project to come to fruition.
Back in October, Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that makes the iPhone, revealed three surprise electric concepts: the Model E sedan designed in collaboration with Pininfarina, the Model C SUV that looks like a potential Model X rival, and the Model T bus. None of these EVs are in production yet, but the tech firm is reportedly in talks to set up a new joint venture that will build electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia.
Citing "people familiar with the matter," Automotive News reports that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which manages around $450 billion of assets, is in talks with Foxconn Technology group to set up a new EV brand called Velocity, which will be the majority stakeholder of the joint venture.
Foxconn will be a minority stakeholder and provide software, electronics, and architecture for the new electric vehicles. According to the publication's sources, the EVs will use chassis supplied by BMW, with a deal expected to be completed by the end of the year.
It's worth noting that no final decision has been made yet, however, so these plans could still change. If the deal goes ahead, this won't be the first time BMW has allowed a third-party company to use its technology.
Last year, Vietnam's VinFast unveiled the President SUV based on the last generation BMW X5 and powered by a General Motors 6.2-liter V8 generating 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. By branching out into the automotive industry, it's hoped the joint venture will make Saudi Arabia's economy less reliant on oil sales.