Though this should put an end to the flurry of reports around the much-hyped Apple car, it is still said that this does not mean the end of the road for the South Korean auto majors in the putative project.It had emerged that Apple was in talks with multiple automakers including Hyundai for what is believed to be autonomous electric car from Apple.
Further, reports in Korea media last week suggested that Apple was close to inking a deal with Hyundai’s affiliate Kia for producing 100,000 cars per year, which may later be expanded to 400,000 depending on commercial reception of the vehicle.
Apparently, such media leaks did not seem to go down well with Apple, which likes to keep its operations under a lid of secrecy.
Bloomberg news agency last Friday reported that Apple had ‘paused’ its talks with Hyundai-Kia.
Apple in talks with Japanese automakers?
In the event, Hyundai and Kia today said that they are not in talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles. There is a feeling that the car companies were miffed by Apple attitude. Hyundai is uncomfortable at the projection that it is a mere assembler of somebody else’s project.
But seasoned Apple analysts say that notwithstanding the current friction between Hyundai-Kia and Apple, some kind of understanding between the companies can still emerge.
Interestingly, reports also say that Apple is in discussions with at least six Japanese automakers over possible production and supply partnerships.
This basically suggests that Apple is pretty much in the early stages of negotiations with automakers around the world, and nothing has been finalised about the project.
So all those talks about Apple Car being released by 2023 or even 2024 look fanciful and misplaced.
If the project goes ahead, the Apple car is unlikely to make it to the markets before 2025.