- Hyundai Motor Group previously confirmed it is talking to Apple for Apple Car.
- Within a few hours, it backed away from the statement to drop Apple's name.
- Apple Car is poised to launch sometime in 2027.
Hyundai Motor Group confirmed that it is holding discussions with Apple over co-creating the Apple Car. The Korean automaker said that Apple is talking to a number of global automobile companies for the production of the electric car and that Hyundai Motor Group is one of them. As soon as the confirmation from the carmaker emerged, the shares of Hyundai Motor Group saw a monumental jump of 18 per cent, fueling a $9 billion surge in the market value. But in an interesting turn of events, Hyundai Motors backed away from the statement.
In a revised statement, Hyundai Motors omitted the name of Apple to prevent from a potential falling out with the iPhone maker. Apple is known for its secrecy and Hyundai may have breached that by confirming the development. According to a South Korean media outlet Hankyung, Hyundai is done reviewing the proposal and that the collaboration would kick off with the signature of Hyundai chairman Chung Eui-sun on the deal. But Hyundai Motors has now denied any involvement of Apple in the statement it changed within a matter of a few hours since the confirmation.
Hyundai Motors grappled with how to deal with the fiasco. What actually happened was Hyundai Motor Group releasing different statements. When the South Korean Daily reported Hyundai is in talks with Apple for the Apple Car, a Hyundai spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that it is one of the automakers that are holding discussions with the iPhone maker in early stages. Later, Hyundai removed the reference to other automakers in less than 30 minutes. And, finally, a few hours later, Hyundai changed the statement to drop the name of Apple from the statement, leaving only the vague parts.
Apple Car sprang back to headline the rumour mill when a Reuters report suggested Apple has resumed working on its ambitious Project Titan to launch a self-driving vehicle. Several reports then pointed out Apple is hiring the ex-employees of Tesla, including the veteran Doug Field, to give a push to its plans. The report also mentioned that the Apple Car will have a monocell battery technology that will radically reduce the battery cost and increase the vehicle's range.
Apple's EV is in a very early stage of development and the company might take half a decade to launch the Apple Car, according to Bloomberg News. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo even said that Apple Car might not arrive until 2025-2027 because the market is "too bullish". He event said Apple could take another year and introduce the car in 2028. And this would also mean that Apple will take ample time to decide its automobile partners for the Apple Car. Hyundai feared that spilling the beans prematurely might cost it the deal with Apple, hence, the company backtracked on the statement in no time.
Hyundai uses batteries for its electric cars from LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation but the company did confirm sometime back that it is developing batteries of its own to minimise reliance. Hyundai's chairman Chung was also quoted as saying in a report in October that the company is planning to make the "world's most innovative autonomous driving technology". And now it remains to be seen if this technology will debut on the Apple Car or if Hyundai Motors will launch its own self-driving vehicle with this technology.