Hyundai Motor Group confirmed on Friday that it was in talks with Apple for a potential collaboration to develop the so-called Apple Car. A Hyundai spokesperson said Cupertino has proposed collaborations with a number of global automobile makers for the launch of an electric car, and Hyundai Motors was also in discussions. They stressed, however, that nothing was finalized and the pair was in early stages of talks. South Korean news media Hankyung said in a report that Hyundai has already finished reviewing Apple's proposal. All that was needed for the collaboration to start was for Hyundai chairman Chung Eui-sun to sign off on the deal, the report said.
Hyundai might not be in a rush to make Apple's electric car despite reports of a tentative deal. Reuters sources claim Hyundai executives are "agonizing" over how the company will cooperate with Apple, or whether or not it's a wise idea in the first place.The Korean automaker is reportedly hesitant to work with outside firms, and might even replace higher-ups to prevent a conflict between the two fiercely independent companies. The company might have Kia team up with Apple to avoid associating the core Hyundai brand (and the upscale Genesis badge) with contract manufacturing. It would be "just like Foxconn," one executive told Reuters. Apple is rumored to want Hyundai primarily for final assembly in the US.
The Apple Car is turning from a myth to a potential product. Following the recent report that Apple is looking into building a car and launching it by 2024, Korean automaker Hyundai has confirmed to CNBC that Apple has discussed the product with "a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor." The discussions are still in early stages, and "nothing has been decided," Hyundai said. In a statement just obtained by @CNBC's @cherykang, the auto giant Hyundai says: "We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor. As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided."
Hyundai said on Monday that it is no longer in talks with Apple regarding the development of a future autonomous vehicle. Hyundai said it "has received requests to co-develop autonomous electric vehicle from multiple companies but they were in the early stages and nothing was finalised." It then explicitly mentioned Apple, saying it "is not in talks with Apple on development of an autonomous vehicle." Hyundai's affiliate Kia, also an automobile manufacturer, and Hyundai Mobis, a car component-making subsidiary, made similar statements separately. Hyundai and Kia, combined, form the world's fifth largest automobile manufacturer.
Apple Car just can't get a break. On Monday, Hyundai and Kia said they're not in talks with Apple regarding development of an autonomous car, according to Reuters. A Bloomberg report added that Apple paused discussions with the two Korean companies on building an electric car "weeks ago." Apple has also talked with other manufacturers, the report claims. It's unclear whether a deal with Hyundai or the affiliated Kia is completely off the table, or whether it could be revisited at a later date.