Hyundai Motor Co. confirmed that they are currently in talks with Apple for the manufacture of an Apple Car. If the partnership continues, the two companies will develop self-driving electric vehicles equipped with specialized battery technology.
“The negotiations are in the early stages, but nothing has been decided, including whether Hyundai Motor will supply auto parts to Apple or manufacture the whole Apple Car,” said a Hyundai Motor official. In addition to manufacturing the Apple Car, Hyundai Motor will also develop a customized battery solution.
Hyundai Motor announced they are still in initial discussions with the American tech company. In a statement to CNBC’s Chery Kang, a Hyundai Motor official confirmed the company’s involvement. The South Korean automotive manufacturer surfaced as Apple’s first prospective partner involving the industry of vehicle production.
Following the confirmation, Hyundai Motor’s shares increased by up to 23.8 percent in Seoul. The spike in Hyundai Motor shares likely came from the announcement of the collaboration with Apple.
“Apple needs to partner with a carmaker because it doesn’t have production capabilities and sales networks to sell its cars,” said a KTB Investment and Securities Co. analyst. “Building up those capabilities can’t be done quickly so Apple will need a partner for that.”
Aside from their future electric car production partnership, Hyundai Motors and Apple have previously collaborated. In 2017, most Hyundai models installed the Apple CarPlay. It is software that connects iOS devices to vehicles, enabling the head unit to function as a display and controller.
Apple’s Self-Driving Electric Car Venture
Apple is planning to launch an autonomous, electric vehicle and is targeting 2024 as the start of production. The release of the Apple Car is still pending for at least half a decade.
Although the pandemic slowed the development, Apple employed a team to work on vehicle and safety dynamics, as well as battery technology. The developers are still in the early stages of cultivating self-driving systems, vehicle interiors, and external designs.
A newly developed battery designed to lower costs and expand the automobile’s range rests at the core of Apple’s future release. Former Tesla executives are also involved in the project.
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