Korean Automakers Say Apple Deal Isn't Happening

korean automakers say apple deal isnt happening

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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  • JMII JMII on Feb 09, 2021

    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.

    • Rocket Rocket on Feb 09, 2021

      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.

  • 1sowa 1sowa on Feb 09, 2021

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

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.