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Hyundai, Kia say Apple automotive deal is off | The Specific Tribune

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South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co mentioned on Monday it isn’t now in talks with Apple on autonomous electrical automobiles, only a month after it confirmed early-stage talks with the tech large, sending the automaker’s shares skidding.

Wiping $2.4 billion off its market worth, Hyundai inventory slumped 4.3% by 0428 GMT. Shares in its affiliate Kia Corp, which had been tipped in native media experiences because the doubtless operational accomplice for Apple, tumbled 12.8% – a $4.7 billion hit.

The announcement brings the curtain down on weeks of inside divisions at Hyundai Motor Co Group – mum or dad to each automakers – concerning the potential tie-up, with some executives elevating considerations about turning into a contract producer for the US tech large in a tie-up harking back to electronics agency Foxconn’s function in making system for Apple just like the iPhone.

“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 mentioned on Monday, in compliance with inventory market guidelines requiring common updates to buyers concerning market rumors.

“We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”

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Kia shares had jumped 61% since Hyundai initially confirmed an area media report early in January that Apple and Hyundai have been in discussions to develop self-driving electrical automobiles by 2027 and develop batteries at US factories operated by both Hyundai or Kia.

“Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is at an early stage, nothing has been decided,” Hyundai mentioned, earlier than releasing subsequent statements that eliminated all mentions of Apple however mentioned Hyundai was receiving electrical automotive cooperation requests from events it didn’t determine.

As lately as final week, media shops together with CNBC reported {that a} deal was near being finalised. One South Korean report mentioned the 2 corporations have been set to signal the deal on February 17.

‘AGONISING’

Hyundai is historically identified for its reluctance to work with outsiders, making engines, transmissions, and even its personal metal in-house in a vertically built-in provide chain as South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate.

Though shares in Kia and Hyundai had surged on information of the talks, inside opposition to turning into an Apple contract producer was appreciable, in keeping with folks conversant in the matter.

“We are agonising over how to do it, whether it is good to do it or not,” a Hyundai government conscious of inside discussions on the tie-up instructed Reuters in January. “We are not a company which manufactures cars for others,” he mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity.

Apple and Hyundai first began talks over a automotive partnership in 2018, one other particular person conversant in the matter beforehand instructed Reuters. However progress was hampered by the South Korean automaker’s reticence on working with outsiders, the particular person mentioned.

Reuters reported in December that Apple was transferring ahead with autonomous automotive expertise and aimed to provide a passenger automobile that would embrace its personal breakthrough battery expertise as early as 2024.

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Apple, identified to maintain product plans below tight wraps, has by no means acknowledged talks with the automaker about constructing automobiles and wasn’t instantly accessible for remark outdoors enterprise hours in the US.

Analysts mentioned talks might need collapsed over leaks of the partnership plan to media, or over attainable insistence by Apple that Hyundai’s function in any tie-up can be that of an tools producer, somewhat than a strategic accomplice.

“With numerous news reports over discussions between the two companies, which should have been held to non-disclosure agreements, it would have been uncomfortable,” mentioned Kwon Quickly-woo, an analyst at SK Securities.

Kevin Yoo, an analyst at eBEST Funding & Securities, mentioned, “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.”

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