Earlier in January, a local Korean newspaper, Korea IT news had reported that Hyundai Motor and Apple Inc are planning to sign a partnership deal on Autonomous electric cars by March, and start the production of the same by around 2024 in the United States of America. This report effectively followed a statement that Hyundai Motor had earlier released on Friday that it was in early talks with Apple Inc after another local media outlet said the companies aimed to launch a self-driving electric car in 2027.
But, the deal, which was in its early stages, has been called off. Apple had been tight-lipped about this deal from the very beginning.
When Hyundai had confirmed in January about the early talks with Apple, both companies saw a good rise in their market value. And now, after reports of the deal being called off, both Hyundai and Kia have lost a few billion dollars of market value.
Although Hyundai stated that it wasn’t in talks with Apple any further, it did, however, mention that they have been approached by other parties. “We are receiving requests for cooperation in the joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at an early stage and nothing has been decided,” the company 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 plaguing the deal could have been the differences in mindset and perception of the future. One is sort of a hard-eyed realist and the other being a dreamy-eyed idealist. Also, another fact to consider is Hyundai’s somewhat known reluctancy to work with outsiders especially in this scenario as Apple never handles its manufacturing duties on its own, it always has subsidiaries who manufacture their stuff for them like Foxconn who is a major Apple partner.
Hyundai had earlier stated to Reuters that they aren’t a company that would manufacture cars for others which were sure to happen under this deal as Apple lacks automotive manufacturing infrastructure and more importantly, the willingness to manufacture on its own. And Apple is known to keep things under a wrap and sort of exercise dominancy and control over others, in a sense that it wants stuff done their way.
That being said, Hyundai Motor Group is one of the major automotive groups in the world and despite the loss of market value now, Hyundai has set sights of electrification and sustainable mobility and will continue to work towards the same, with or without Apple.