Apple and Hyundai reportedly hit the brakes on Apple car relationship

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The idea of working with Apple to build a car reportedly makes some Hyundai execs nervous.
Apple had supposedly been working with Hyundai on its electric, self-driving vehicle.
Photo: Mpho Mojapelo/Unsplash CC

Apple and Hyundai may have had the business equivalent of a high school relationship in the past few weeks. First they were just friends, then going steady, and now they appear to have broken up — and Apple’s got the hots for someone else. All on a suitably compressed timeline, of course.

Bloomberg reported the breakup Sunday, saying Apple has paused discussions with Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors about building an electric car. Apple’s now supposedly talking to other automobile companies about a possible deal.

“The South Korean carmakers also said in regulatory filings Monday they were in talks with multiple companies about autonomous EVs, but that no decision has been made,” according to Bloomberg. “Shares of Hyundai, which said discussions with partners were in early stages, fell 6.2% in Seoul, while Kia slumped 15%.”

Apple car rumors have bubbled up for half a decade. However, they went into overdrive in 2021, with the Hyundai/Apple car chatter surfacing in the past few weeks. Apple needs an automotive partner since establishing its own plant would “cost billions of dollars and take many years,” Bloomberg notes.

Apple and Hyundai

In early January, Hyundai said it had participated in conversations with Apple. The Souther Korean automaker later pulled back from these reports and removed Apple’s name from some of its public statements. Initial reports suggested Apple and Hyundai would sign a deal by March. They would then start production around 2024 in the United States — with beta testing before then.

More recently, it seemed possible that Apple would partner with Hyundai subsidiary Kia. The two companies were said to be on the brink of a $3.6 billion deal to build Apple cars in Georgia. Why Kia, instead of its parent company? Hyundai execs reportedly worried the company would be perceived as simply an Apple assembler.

It’s not clear what caused the breakdown (or pause) in talks between Apple and Hyundai/Kia. Still, like any twist-and-turn relationship, they could both be back together before you know it!

Source: Bloomberg