By on February 8, 2021

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Over the weekend, Hyundai Motor Group addressed rumors that Kia had been in negotiations to build an electric vehicle for Apple. While the scuttlebutt seems to have been true, talks were indeed underway, the automaker confessed that they had ended without an agreement.

It’s known that Apple has been hunting for potential partners after its EV program was placed into an extended stasis and was hoping to gain access to a skateboard-type platform. Hyundai’s E-GMP architecture certainly qualifies, too. But it’s just one of many entities entering the field as most manufacturers strive to build their own.

According to Bloomberg, Hyundai/Kia briefly confirmed that it had been in sustained discussions with Apple but ultimately withdrew for reasons unknown. Some have stipulated that the American tech firm might have wanted to go with a domestic manufacturer for security reasons. But, considering that the company is already highly dependent upon Asian factories, it hardly seems like the deciding factor — especially when Hyundai is making it sound as though it was the one that broke things off.

Regardless, it wasn’t great for either brands’ share price. Both saw spikes in valuation as the Apple rumor spread and sharp drops when it was explained that there would be no deal. On Monday, Hyundai Motor shares fell by over 6 percent in South Korea. Kia Motors shares dropped by bout 15 percent.

Apple reportedly remains committed to reinvigorating its electric vehicle program, however. Insiders have tipped off numerous outlets that the company is hoping to have the first “Apple Cars” produced by 2024.

In December, Reuters claimed to have sources suggesting the first examples would appear in 2024. But Taiwanese outlets were reporting that key Asian suppliers had already been mobilized to accelerate production on components that would be necessary for an upcoming EV. While suppliers were supposed to have signed rock-solid confidentiality agreements, the United Daily News named several participating Taiwanese automotive factories in the final week of 2020.

But the iCar concept has been nixed before and reinvigorating the codenamed Project Titan in 2019 doesn’t mean it will survive all the way to 2024. If we could count on every rumor and corporate promise being true, numerous companies operating from both outside and within the auto industry would have been selling totally self-driving conveyances for a couple of years.

[Image: Hyundai]

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14 Comments on “Korean Automakers Say Apple Deal Isn’t Happening...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe H/K is afraid of the liability of releasing someone’s (anyone’s) AV technology.

    And if their concern is about building an Apple EV (which I don’t believe is what Apple really wants), H/K faces the spectre of holding the bag when Apple backs out of the deal after a few years.

  • avatar

    Hyundai Kia made the right call. Apple basically wants a supplier and if youve seen how apple treats their suppliers its not pretty. It would mean total secracy on everything. All products will be apple branded, HK takes on more and more expenses over time. Hyundai kia dont want to become foxcon. Theyre a strong company with their own producrs, brands, and history and they are not going to give that up to become Apples car foxcon.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess the bigger question is what does Apple bring to the table beyond nice design?

      Android Auto is nice, Apple Carplay is nice – but infotainment software is nothing compared to the industrial control software required for an autonomous EV.

      I’m not sure why ANY automaker would want to share their automotive technologies with companies that make cloud, desktop, and mobile software.

      Frankly, continuous software delivery should be avoided in safety-critical systems.

  • avatar

    At this point of time I would stay away from US tech firms. They proved to be unreliable and devious creatures, vultures in other words. I would not trust them and nobody does anymore outside of US.

  • avatar

    Inside Looking Out,

    Apple and Amazon both showed how treacherous they are by their conspiracy against Parler.

  • avatar

    H/K IS CRAP.

    2 of 3 brake lights do not illuminate.

    What is bad that you cannot see?

  • avatar

    Loose lips sink ships. If someone at H/K leaked info regarding Apple as reported last week they might have gotten a phone call with an offer they can’t refuse. As mentioned Apple is notorious about dealing with its suppliers and keeping its future (and even current) plans under wraps.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s certainly one potential explanation … confidential negotiations that were anything but. Apple takes that stuff seriously – even if they did get a short-term stock boost from the leaks. Then H/K claims they called the deal off to save face. I mean, you have to be pretty ballsy to say “no” to Apple, right? WE turned down APPLE!!!

      Then again, maybe H/K just doesn’t want to go back to working for another company. Private labeling always has a potential downside.

  • avatar

    Or they did come to the agreement and the first rule of apple club is you don’t talk about apple club.

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