In an interesting turn of events, it seems that Apple may still be working on an Apple Car with Hyundai and Kia after all – despite the automaker claiming that talks had fallen through with the tech giant. As per a recent report brought forth by Reuters, there might still be hope for a partnership between the companies after all.
Quoting sources familiar with the matter, Korean outlet Chosun Biz, via Reuters, reports that last year the Cupertino tech giant signed a memorandum of understanding with Kia to cooperate on multiple projects spanning eight different sectors.
“Even if the negotiations on electric vehicles fail, there are many items that can be negotiated in other fields, so we are still optimistic about the possibility of partnership between the two sides,” Chosun cited an unnamed source familiar with negotiations between Hyundai and Apple as saying.
Apple-Kia partnership could still be in the works, report claims
Earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia in regulatory filings stated that both of them are not in discussions anymore with the Cupertino tech giant on the development of a self-driving electric vehicle. This statement came just weeks after Hyundai had publically stated that Apple was in talks with several automakers, including Hyundai, about the development of its EV project.
Kevin Yoo, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities believes that Apple and Kia are still open to lots of other collaborations.
“The media report on Kia-Apple cooperation does not negate Hyundai’s statement earlier this month, since the statement was limited to a certain item,” said Kevin Yoo, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities.
In addition to the possibility of working on Apple’s EV project, the two companies are also in talks over a possible collaboration regarding solutions for “last mile” transportation methods. Last-mile mobility is a term used to describe the last leg of a journey comprising of the transfer of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination.
Rumors about a potential partnership between Apple and Hyundai/Kia have gone as far as to detail the tech giant’s plan to use Kia’s West Point plant which is located in the United States, Georgia for the production of Apple Car.
The iPhone maker plans to set up production with Kia and build Apple cars at the automaker’s facility in Georgia, U.S., DongA Ilbo reported, without citing anyone. The companies may sign a deal on Feb. 17 and aim to introduce Apple cars in 2024, according to the newspaper, which said they have an initial target to produce 100,000 autos a year.