Rumours are funny things. Some are very hard to believe, even if you really want them to be true. Others are extremely easy to find plausible, even if (sometimes especially if) everyone concerned is denying the rumours left and right. Which brings us to the latest info involving Apple, Hyundai, (probably) Kia, and the case of the autonomous electric vehicle.
Hyundai the gun
To recap: last month a Hyundai rep confirmed that the company was in talks with Apple concerning an autonomous electric vehicle. Money was made, then the statements were walked back (twice) until the company was in ‘talks’ with someone they can’t mention but who totally isn’t Apple.
Currently, according to both Bloomberg and Reuters, Apple is no longer in talks with Hyundai or Kia (Hyundai has a controlling stake in Kia). The Reuters report is blunt and to the point, seemingly rather final. Bloomberg, on the other hand, makes it seem as though discussions with Apple are simply on hold — though there’s no indication when or if they will resume. Apple is also said to be in talks with other car manufacturers, though none of these have been identified.
Sure, we believe you
The current news appears tailored to make Apple, notoriously secretive when it comes to (officially) unannounced tech, happy. Several details have emerged in recent weeks that suggest that any eventual car carrying Apple’s branding will emerge as the result of a collaboration between Apple and Hyundai/Kia. Noted analyst and Apple specialist Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple’s vehicle will make use of Hyundai’s E-GMP electric car platform in order to get a vehicle moving. The South Korean company would reportedly handle component design and production, with subsidiary Kia handling US production of the vehicle.
Kuo said, “We believe that Apple will leverage current automakers’ resources and focus on self-driving hardware and software, semiconductors, battery-related technologies, form factor and internal space designs, innovative user experience, and the integration with Apple’s existing ecosystem.” He also claims that auto-makers GM and Groupe PSA (which manufactures Citroen and Peugeot vehicles, among others) are involved in Apple’s EV plans.
Only, as of right now, none of this is actually true. This could either mean that Hyundai and Kia have blown it, or they’re all hoping that all of this will blow over so they can get back to making an Apple Car in secret.