If Apple has plans to build an electric, autonomous vehicle, it won’t be with Hyundai Motor Group. On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that “people familiar with the matter” told the publication that “Apple paused discussions with Hyundai and Kia weeks ago”.
Apple’s highly secretive vehicle plans—codenamed Project Titan—have driven a lot of speculation over the years. The latest bout of rumormongering began in December 2020, when Reuters, citing anonymous sources, claimed that Apple was going to start building and selling a car by 2024.
The rumors shifted to a higher gear in early January, when the Korea Economic Daily reported that Apple had been in talks with the Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group. This was confirmed by Hyundai to other outlets, albeit vaguely; it told CNBC that Apple had been in talks with other automakers as well, and that no deals had been signed.
Last week, speculation had reached the point where we were told that “fully autonomous” Apple Cars would go into production at Kia’s factory in West Point, Georgia within the next few years. However, the report also suggested—improbably, in our view—that these Apple Cars could be destined for life as robotaxis or even delivering packages.
Hyundai and Kia stocks both fell following the denial. As for a possible Apple Car, I’ll remain skeptical until Apple shows it off on stage.