After $8 billion surge in market value, Hyundai walks back statement it’s in talks over Apple Car

Hyundai has walked back a statement confirming that it’s in talks with Apple on developing self-driving electric vehicle – “Apple Car” – that fueled an $8 billion surge in the Korean automaker’s market value Friday. Hyundai now says instead that it’s received requests for potential cooperation from a number of companies.

vehicle under wraps

Kyunghee Park for Bloomberg:

Revising its statement for the second time in a matter of hours, Hyundai said it had been contacted by potential partners for the development of autonomous electric vehicles, removing any reference to Apple. Shares of Hyundai surged 19% after Korean media initially reported on talks with the U.S. company, only slightly paring their gains after the statement confirming discussions was revised.

By naming Apple initially, Hyundai risks the ire of the technology giant known for its secretiveness when it comes to new products and partnerships. With development work still at an early stage, Apple will take at least half a decade to launch an autonomous electric vehicle, people with knowledge of the efforts have told Bloomberg News. That suggests the company is in no hurry to decide on potential auto-industry partners.

Hyundai’s stock jump in Seoul was the biggest since 1988. A cable TV unit of Korea Economic Daily first reported the discussions with Apple, saying Hyundai completed internal talks on the project and is awaiting approval from the chairman.

MacDailyNews Take: Those phone calls from Cupertino couldn’t have been comfortable for Hyundai. As tech companies already know, and Hyundai has no learned the hard way: If you want to work with Apple (on Apple Car or anything else), never mention Apple.


  1. I don’t doubt Apple will contract with someone, but not likely a really crappy Korean company. Geely might make sense, but not Hundai-Kia.

    Someone made a ton of money with shoutcterm trades.

    1. Probably not exclusive, so it doesn’t matter. AppleCar will most likely be a digital experience from self driving to entertainment that can be integrated by the car maker to any models

    2. Hyundai is not a “really crappy Korean company”. I guess you haven’t owned one or dealt with them. They have worked hard to improve their vehicles, and it shows. Furthermore, I have owned several, and they have all held up over time. My current one is a 2011 with a 6 digit odometer. I have had one semi-major repair (fuel pump) since my purchase, and that was only a couple months ago.
      Not sure if we can chalk your remark up to simple ignorance, or dislike of Korea.

      1. When Hyundai entered the US in 1986 with the low-cost Excel, it rightly deserved its reputation for crappy cheap cars. The joke was that HYUNDAI stood for “Hope you understand nothing’s driveable and inexpensive.” No 8 in David Letterman’s list of Top Ten Hilarious Mischief Night Pranks To Play In Space was “Paste a ‘Hyundai’ logo on the main control panel.”

        But unlike the Hungarian Yugo, which launched at the same time, Hyundai took the criticism to heart and improved. It’s not a bad car now and no longer has a reputation for cutting corners with quality. Under Apple’s tutelage Hyundai could build a decent white-label Apple Car.

    3. Ewwww… I’d take Korea’s Hyundai over China’s Geely. Beijing REALLY wants to penetrate the US market with a serious product like a car… so you can bet Beijing will do all it can to buy the good reputation of an American company like Apple.

  2. Gee, I found it refreshing that they were, allegedly, up front and honest about what was going on for a change. Didn’t they say yesterday that they were in talks with several companies and not just Apple? I guess it’s back to being treated like mushrooms and not knowing and not caring.

  3. I think the ultimate “end game” for self-driving cars is to create an “operating system” that manages all cars on the road, analogous to an “air traffic control” — this would make traffic lights unnecessary, and vehicles could move without stopping (eliminating traffic congestion) . . . This is how the Kiva robots (now Amazon robots) operate in Amazon warehouses. They move freely without collision. Whichever company creates this “operating system” will have the ultimate power . . . if you see this “network” as the end game, then individual cars become commodity products.

  4. Yes, half a decade to get to market – newsflash – Apple’s been at this for nearly 6 years… If the article writer thinks it’s at least 5 years from today, sorry, but they are clueless.

    Bob Mansfield is a genius. He created and/or saved so many engineering programs at Apple, he should be an Apple Fellow, hanging out w/Schiller in what should be Apple’s Heisman House with librarys, pipes and robes! The guy is nails.

    Tim shifted Bob to Project Titan, and boom, Bob slashed the team, made it focused, and the leaks stopped.

    Bob just retire about a month ago. The heavy lifting is now done and leaking information is pouring forth as Apple is now talking to a variety of suppliers and potential companies to act as their CM. Time to tighten things up and take this vehicle/a to market.

    Apple could reveal this vehicle in mid-late 2021, if not early, early 2022, shipping late 2022/early 2023.

    What will this car have which can Blackberry Tesla? What will make it a Purple Cow (if you’re don’t know what that is, look it up)?

    AR: Ever drive in fog? Snow? Roads with poor blacktop and just difficult to see due to poor or zero lighting, or all of the above? Apple will deliver a HUD on steroids. Most of the windshield will be able to augment reality with road lines, outlines of the vehicles in front of you, perhaps oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.

    This requires amazing eye and FaceID tracking of the driver. The imagery is NOT static in on the windshield, rather, it must adjust in real-time to where your eyes/head are located. It’s just a load of tech that needs to merge into one seamless solution. Facial tracking, LiDAR integration, blazingly fast real-time graphics and AR glasse transparent display tech… Apple has and owns this entire stack. This AR tech will be mind blowing for the industry.

    Technolog – Overall that is. From using their own Multi-zillion Mx Mac Pro-Esque processors, and their own software, in order to leverage cost controls will be impressive. Simple things (for Apple) like providing FaceID, where only you or those you allow to drive your car via Built-in vehicle FaceID can drive your car.

    Someone steals your iPhone and thinks they can steal your car? Nope. That isn’t your face – no start for you criminal, or high-school son at 2am Friday night or or do…

    There is a lot of tech which is relatively done/easy stuff for Apple to integrate, that is just costly and complicated as heck for car makers… Autonomous driving – check. Car as iPhone. Sure, the vehicle will be your iPhone all in one. Your iPhone doesn’t plug in or sync. Ha! I no, the. Sr has your iPhone foods in it as seamlessly as your iPhone – things that need to be there of course. Seat, wheel, temp, start – just walk towards the car and it talks to your iPhone or Apple Warch and away you go – all set. Apples tech won’t be gimmicky, it’ll be powerful and just work.

    Range: CUVs are becoming the largest space in the industry. The 4-door family sedan is rapidly evaporating due to this shift to CUVs and sub-CUVs. While 200 miles per charge (however many kWh battery stack is required) is a magic number for commuting, 300+ is a number that meets a much wider buyer and use cases. Apple may very well meet 250, 300, 350 range specs, providing something for just about everyone. And all this leads to price…
    Pricing: Apple approaches markets one of two ways: Highest end first then bleed down options from there – Apple Watch, HomePod, iPod. Or, Apple starts at the bottom and builds north – Airpods, iPad, etc…

    Apple is likely to iPad Titan, bringing that $499 iPad value to market which no one could meet for years. Apple leveraged the heck out of what they had, and didn’t enter to sell in a multi-year ramp phase, starting at $999 and working down… nope. Apple totally disrupted the market, starting at $499, leaving everyone scratching their heads, trying to figure out how they did it… A. Leverage what massive scale they had in iPhone, a sell millions right away – AKA instant scale.

    Apple’s ramp will be swift, and scale will be built out to leverage large economy-of-scale pricing.

    $35k = 250 mile range
    $40k = 300 mile range
    $45k = 350 mile range

    All before Fed tax incentives… Keep in mind this pricing based on batteries pricing expectations 2 years from today, while leveraging everything Apple has in-house.

    Apple’s vehicle will represent such value it’ll be a revolutionary. And hitting right when mass market adoption is just starting to take off with incrementally improving products, and boom! Apples vehicle.

    This is exactly how Apple enters new markets and achieves amazing success.

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