What you need to know
- Hyundai/Kia now says they are not in talks with Apple about Apple Car.
- The automaker says they are in talks with a number of other brands.
As reported by Bloomberg, Hyundai/Kia is now saying that they are no longer in discussions with Apple on a partnership to build the rumored Apple Car. The company has acknowledged that they are in talks with multiple brands about electric and autonomous vehicles but now says Apple is not one of them.
The South Korean carmakers have been talking with multiple companies about autonomous electric car development, but no decision has been made, they said in regulatory filings Monday. Hyundai said the discussions are in early stages. Hyundai shares fell as much as 8.4% in Seoul, while Kia slumped 15.3%.
The report from today sent Hyundai/Kia's stock tumbling after a progressive jump when it was rumored the company was close to closing a deal to manufacture Apple's electric car at the company's Kia plant in Georgia in the United States. The rumor at the time even stated that the company was receiving a $3.6 billion investment from Apple to support the project.
The iPhone maker plans to set up production with Kia and build Apple cars at the automaker's facility in Georgia, U.S., DongA Ilbo reported, without citing anyone. The companies may sign a deal on Feb. 17 and aim to introduce Apple cars in 2024, according to the newspaper, which said they have an initial target to produce 100,000 autos a year.
Rumors about Apple's potential partner for its electric car have been swirling and have zeroed in on Hyundai/Kia over the last couple of weeks, so it's unclear if today's news is true and the companies have parted ways or if it is another attempt by the automaker to keep the project secret, something that Apple is known for. Hyundai/Kia did release a similar statement in January after initial reports broke of the potential partnership between the two companies.