After several reports linked Hyundai Motor Co as a manufacturing partner for the Apple car project, the company has now said it isn’t in any form of talks with the U.S. tech giant. While both Hyundai and its affiliate Kia have prioritized electric vehicle development and autonomous technology, neither claim Apple is part of their future plans.
With any potential deal falling by the wayside, Hyundai and Kia shares both took a hit. Hyundai lost $3 billion off its market value, while its stock slid by 6.2%. Kia’s market value fell by $5.5 billion and shares plummeted by 15%.
Hyundai has made a reputation for avoiding partnerships, with Apple being the latest potential deal to stall. Sources close to the automaker say that internal divisions have hindered executives from agreeing on terms of becoming a contract manufacturer for the U.S. tech company.
“We are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles for various companies,” Hyundai officials said on Monday, “but they are at an early stage and nothing has been decided. We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”
The automaker recently put out a statement linking the company to early discussions of a partnership with Apple. However the statement was replaced by a subsequent statement removing all mentions of the tech company.
Many news sources had reported that both sides were close to finalizing a deal as early as February 17th. It was also rumored that Kia’s West Point, GA manufacturing plant had already been designated as the building site for the new Apple car.
In December, Reuters reported that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and aimed to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.
The two sides first started discussing a car production partnership in 2018, as Apple was working on a development called “Project Titan”. However, progress was hampered and eventually halted by the South Korean automaker’s resistance to working with outsiders.
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