Apple car deal is now off says Hyundai Kia, shares dip
South Korea automaker Hyundai Motor Co on Monday said that it is not in talks with Apple Inc on autonomous electric cars anymore, just a month after it confirmed early-stage talks with the tech giant. Shares of the automaker have dipped since the statement.
The automaker lost $2.1 billion off its market value after the announcement and brought the curtain down on weeks of internal divisions within Hyundai Motor Co Group – parent to both automakers – about the potential tie-up, with some executives raising concerns about becoming a contract manufacturer for the U.S. tech giant.
“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 automakers 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.”
Apple, known to keep product plans under tight wraps, has never acknowledged talks with the automaker about building vehicles and wasn’t immediately available for comment outside business hours in the United States.
Analysts said talks might have collapsed over leaks of the partnership plan to media, or over possible insistence by Apple that Hyundai’s role in any tie-up would be that of an equipment manufacturer, rather than a strategic partner.
Kevin Yoo, an analyst at EBEST Investment & Securities, said, “It seems clear that Hyundai Motor Group has not been too happy with dealing with Apple. They made it clear that they do not want to be treated just as Apple’s supplier or manufacturer.”