TOKYO -- Here, the digital mapping company owned by Germany's top automakers, wants to bring a Japanese automotive partner into its ownership as it expands to supply the high-definition maps and cloud computing necessary for self-driving cars, an executive said.
Here wants to add a Japanese automaker or parts supplier as part of the company's plan to dilute the holdings of its main shareholders -- Daimler AG, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG -- next year, Mandali Khalesi, Here's head of Asia-Pacific automotive operations, said this month.
Khalesi said he knew of no final decisions to add partners. But Here has been in talks with Japanese players and hopes to strike an agreement, he told Automotive News.
"We've been in discussions with all the major players," Khalesi said of the Japanese. "They are high on our list. One way or another, we'd like to have Japan on board."
Here's search for potential partners comes as Japanese automakers move away from in-house mapping businesses and launch their own Japan-centered coalition as a possible Here rival.