Shares of Korean automaker Kia Motors surged to a two-decade high after a major South Korean newspaper reported that Apple will invest $3.6 billion in Kia as part of a deal to build Apple cars in Kia’s U.S. factory in Georgia in 2024.
Apple’s car-development work is still at an early stage, and the company will take at least half a decade to launch an autonomous EV, people with knowledge of the efforts have told Bloomberg News.
The paper, Seoul-based Dong-A Ilbo, reported that Kia and Apple are close to a deal under which Kia will build Apple’s long-rumored electric car in its factory in West Point, Georgia. The initial production target is 100,000 vehicles per year starting in 2024, according to the report, with the potential to expand to a maximum of 400,000 per year.
It’s possible that the Apple car will be based on the E-GMP electric-vehicle architecture developed by Kia’s corporate sibling Hyundai. While the reported production volumes suggest an upscale but not luxury-level price target (in line with Apple’s strategy around its other consumer devices), it’s not yet clear whether Kia’s Georgia factory will be manufacturing cars for global export or just for the United States.
MacDailyNews Take: If true, Kia will be the Foxconn of electric vehicles.