Apple Inc. (AAPL) has allegedly been talking to Hyundai Motor Company (HYMTF) to create electric vehicles with autonomous driving technology. This is after reports that, after scaling back its vehicle R&D in 2019, Apple has restarted them, with a target of beginning production in 2024.
- Apple may be in discussions with Hyundai to make self-driving electric vehicles.
- However, the same report shows that both giants are in talks with other possible partners.
- These reports are very speculative, and production could be many years away.
- Apple’s EV development has had “many turns.”
Apple has been looking at a possible entry into the EV industry through its Project Titan, which started in 2014 but was cut back in 2019. And recent information shows that Apple has restarted and bolstered this effort, allegedly creating a high-tech battery that will deliver much higher range at a much cheaper cost than current tech in the market. Also, Apple’s plans to add self-driving technology.
A rep for Hyundai Motor said the company is in discussions with Apple. However, he also said Hyundai has inquiries about possible partnerships from other companies too, while Apple has been in talks with other major automakers.
A report in the Korea IT News gave various pieces of information that were all deleted later on. The initial release said Apple and Hyundai were going to sign a deal before March 2021 and start complete production in the U.S. around 2024.
The report also claimed a “beta version” of the car would be created in 2022 and that later manufacture could happen in a Kia Motors Corporation (KIMTF) location in Georgia. Hyundai has a 34% ownership stake in Kia.
The report went on to say that Hyundai and Apple are considering the possibility of building a new plant in the U.S. that could make 100,000 vehicles every year beginning in 2024, with capacity being increased to 400,000. This detail was deleted in the updated news piece.
Importance for Investors
A big problem for Apple in going into the EV market is not having experience in this very capital-intensive industry. Because of this, an obvious entry point is a partnership with a current leader in vehicle manufacturing.
So, indications show that Apple is doubling down on its plans to enter the EV market. But even if a partnership were to be signed soon, getting a car rolling out of production by 2024, with all the high-tech features Apple wants, and without any bugs, may be a bit difficult even for them.
“Over the past six years we have seen many turns in Apple’s automotive goals,” warn analysts Strecker Backe and Daniel Ives from Wedbush Securities, in their recent memo. They say Project Titan was “greatly decreased from its starting level a few years ago,” possibly showing that we should not be shocked if it they run into some roadblocks ahead.
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