After Hyundai retracted its statement on possible deal with Apple to produce autonomous electric cars for the iPhone maker a couple of days ago, a local Korean media outlet has published a report saying Hyundai Motor and Apple Inc plan to sign a partnership deal by March this year and start production as early as 2024 in the United States.
Korea IT News further report follows a statement on Friday from Hyundai Motor that it was in early talks with Apple after another local media outlet said the companies were aiming to launch a self-driving electric car in 2027, sending Hyundai shares up nearly 20%.
On Saturday, Hyundai retracted the statement and removed Apple from the earlier published version, saying Hyundai is ready to make EVs with any brand willing to partner with the South Korean auto giant.
Citing industry sources, the latest report said the pair plan to build the cars at Kia Motors’ factory in Georgia, or jointly invest in a new factory in the United States, with a plan to produce 100,000 vehicles in 2024 at the proposed plant with an annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles. Kia Motors is an affiliate of Hyundai Motors.
The report said Hyundai and Apple plan to release a “beta version” of Apple cars next year.
Both Hyundai Motor and Apple did not have any immediate comment.
Reuters reported last month that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and was aiming to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.
With inputs from Reuters