Hyundai, Kia say Apple deal is off, puncturing investor dream


Reuters reported in December 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.

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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.

The announcement wiped $2.1 billion off its market value, and brought the curtain down on weeks of internal divisions within Hyundai Motor Co Group – parent to both automakers – about the potential tie-up, with some executives raising concerns about becoming a contract manufacturer for the U.S. tech giant.

“We are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at early stage and nothing has been decided,” the automakers said on Monday, in compliance with stock market rules requiring regular updates to investors regarding market rumours. “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”

Also Read | Apple’s hardware engineering chief to step down to focus on new project

Reuters reported in December 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.

Apple, known to keep product plans under tight wraps, has never acknowledged talks with the automaker about building vehicles, and wasn’t immediately available for comment outside business hours in the United States.

Analysts said talks might have collapsed over leaks of the partnership plan to media, or over possible insistence by Apple that Hyundai’s role in any tie-up would be that of an equipment manufacturer, rather than a strategic partner.

With numerous news reports over discussions between the two companies, which should have been held to non-disclosure agreements, it would have been uncomfortable,” said Kwon Soon-woo, an analyst at SK Securities.

Also Read | Volkswagen plans to challenge Google with own autonomous car software

Kevin Yoo, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities, said, “It seems clear that Hyundai Motor Group has not been too happy with dealing with Apple … They made it clear that they do not want to be treated just as Apple’s supplier or manufacturer.”

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One thought on “Hyundai, Kia say Apple deal is off, puncturing investor dream

  • March 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm
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    Best view i have ever seen !

    Reply

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