Hyundai Motor Co. said it is in early discussions with Apple on developing self-driving electric vehicles, emerging as the first potential auto-manufacturing partner for the technology giant.
“Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is at early stage, nothing has been decided,” the South Korean manufacturer said in a statement Friday.
Shares of Hyundai rose as much as 24% in Seoul, the biggest intraday gain since 1988, and were up 19% at 11:30 a.m. A cable TV unit of Korea Economic Daily earlier reported the discussions with Apple. Hyundai has completed internal talks on the project and is awaiting approval from the chairman, according to the report.
Hyundai would provide Apple with a partner that’s already accelerating a push into new technologies such as electric, driverless and flying cars, including setting up a $4 billion autonomous-driving joint venture. The venture, with Aptiv, is expected to have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators and manufacturers in 2022.
The South Korean company is set to introduce this year its first electric vehicle, Ioniq 5, built on a dedicated platform. The automaker, along with its Kia unit, plans to introduce 23 new EV models and sell 1 million units by 2025.
MacDailyNews Take: When they’re ready, Apple will need multiple vehicle manufacturers in order to let competition work its magic.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]