The Apple Car hasn’t jumped the shark yet, but it’s swimming in the waters of reality-show drama so far. Korea IT News seems to think that Hyundai apparently received the final rose of the Apple bachelor, as they reported today that the partnership is a done deal. As we reported on Friday, shares of Hyundai surged 23% on the news before the markets closed, setting hearts aflame at the Korea Stock Exchange.
Hyundai Motor North America President and CEO José Muñoz appeared on Bloomberg TV last Tuesday, January 5, to talk about Hyundai’s year-end results and plans to go all electric. However, when Reuters asked for a statement from the brand about the report by Korea IT News that they have signed a partnership deal for autonomous electric cars to start production in the U.S. by 2024 in the United States, they declined to comment.
It would make a lot of sense for both Apple and Hyundai, if it’s true. Apple has the tech prowess to set its target squarely on Tesla, but it needs a manufacturer with well-established operations to bring the vehicle to market quickly. Apple and Hyundai have been flirting for some time already; the two have been collaborating to provide Apple CarPlay to its vehicles. But so far, both companies have been playing coy. Only a couple of days ago, Hyundai seemed to be open to dating around, as they told CNBC: “We’ve been receiving requests of potential cooperation from diverse companies regarding development of autonomous driving EVs, but no decisions have been made as discussions are in [the] early stage.”
Speculations include a plan to manufacture the EVs at Kia Motors’ factory in West Point, Georgia, or chip in for a new U.S.-based factory to produce 100,000 vehicles around 2024. Reuters says the full annual capacity of the proposed plant would be 400,000 vehicles.
Apple is notorious for keeping its partnerships and development plans close to the vest, so we may not know of a potential marriage between the tech giant and the auto manufacturer that has been clawing its way up steadily for the past several years. As soon as we find out if Apple is going to put a ring on it, we’ll share it with you. Don’t wait up.
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