Kia, Hyundai backpedaling on Apple cooperation

February 08, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Kia, Hyundai backpedaling on Apple cooperation
Korean carmakers Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia feel prompted to go public with a denial by continuing reports of an imminent collaboration with Apple. Apple's plans to develop a self-driving electric car remain uncertain.

According to media reports, the Hyundai Group said on Monday that the company is "currently" not in negotiations with Apple. According to various reports, Kia - which was reportedly in talks to be Apple's manufacturing partner - had feared being relegated to the role of a contract-only manufacturer along the lines of Foxconn if the deal was finalised.

In their statement, the two carmakers stressed that they had received offers of cooperation from various companies. "We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles," the statement reads.

Depending on one's point of view, however, this statement could also be understood as a confirmation of the talks - after all, previous reports had not been about the joint development of such a vehicle, but about production. These reports talked about Apple wanting to start series production of an autonomous, electrically driven vehicle by 2024. Thus, the specific wording of the Hyundai/Kia denial does not reveal what exactly Apple is planning. So we can remain curious about the next wave of rumours.

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