South Korean carmakers not in talks with Apple on autonomous car
Hyundai and Kia said they were no longer in talks with Apple on the development of a self-driving car.
Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee from Reuters reported:
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said on Monday it is not now in talks with Apple Inc on autonomous electric cars, just a month after it confirmed early-stage talks with the tech giant, sending the automaker’s shares skidding.
Wiping $3 billion off its market value, Hyundai’s stock slid 6.2%. Shares in its affiliate Kia Corp, which had been tipped in local media reports as the likely operational partner for Apple, tumbled 15% – a $5.5 billion hit.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Ed Ludlow, and David Welch wrote:
That announcement, and other reports of talks, have upset Apple, which keeps development projects secret for years and controls relationships with suppliers with ruthless efficiency.
It’s unclear if — or when — discussions between Apple and Hyundai might resume. There are only a handful of global automakers with the capacity and capability to mass manufacture vehicles, and it’s unclear how many of them would be interested in collaborating with Apple.
Sam Byford from The Verge noted:
Hyundai’s comments as reported by Bloomberg are essentially the same as what the company said last month in a statement that mentioned Apple before being confusingly walked back. The carmaker says it’s been discussing potential autonomous electric car projects with various partners but is yet to reach a decision. Bloomberg reported last week that the talks with Apple had “paused.”
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo believes that the company does indeed plan to use Hyundai’s E-GMP platform for its first electric vehicle and use Kia for US-based manufacturing, though even then he doesn’t expect the car to hit the market before 2025. Whatever the state of Apple and Hyundai’s negotiations, then, the project is unlikely to be unveiled any time soon.