Hyundai, Kia say ‘Apple Car’ deal now off; $8.5 billion erased off market value

South Korea’s Hyundai said on Monday it is not now in talks with Apple on autonomous electric cars, just a month after it confirmed early-stage talks, causing the automaker’s shares to plummet.

vehicle under wraps

Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee for Reuters:

Wiping $3 billion off its market value, Hyundai’s stock slid 6.2%. Shares in its affiliate Kia Corp, which had been tipped in local media reports as the likely operational partner for Apple, tumbled 15% – a $5.5 billion hit.

The announcement brings the curtain down on weeks of internal divisions at Hyundai Motor Co Group – parent to both automakers – about the potential tieup, with some executives raising concerns about becoming a contract manufacturer for the U.S. tech giant in a tieup reminiscent of electronics firm Foxconn’s role in making device for Apple like the iPhone.

“We are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at early stage and nothing has been decided,” the automakers said on Monday, in compliance with stock market rules requiring regular updates to investors regarding market rumours. “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”

Apple and Hyundai first started talks over a car partnership in 2018, another person familiar with the matter previously told Reuters. But progress was hampered by the South Korean automaker’s reticence on working with outsiders, the person said.

MacDailyNews Take: There are other fish in the sea, including those more suited to serving as “Apple’s Car’s Foxconn.” The fact of the matter is that, in the U.S. neither Hyundai nor Kia inspire thoughts of high quality, innovation, etc. for which Apple is known. It’s a bad match.


    1. Not sure why all the hostility to Kia/Hyundai. US News ranks the Kia K900 #3 among Large Luxury Cars, ahead of the Mercedes CVS but behind the Audi A7 and Genesis G90 (also made by a Hyundai subsidiary). Esquire ranked the Genesis G80 as its Best Luxury Car for 2021, ahead of Lexus, Mercedes, and so forth; US News put it in a tie with the BMW 5-Series for #1 Midsize Luxury Car. The G70 is frequently ranked as Best Sports Sedan, ahead of BMW and Audi. All these ratings are based on high reliability and rich feature sets, not just value-for-money. J.D. Powers rated Genesis as Most Reliable Make in 2020. Who else would you suggest for an Apple partner?

      1. I read the same article and agree. As I recall they said that when car buyers start to wake up to Kia’s high quality it’ll be bad for the other car makers in their space. Probably like you, I was skeptical. Kia reminds me of Yugo, kind of sounds like light, cheap, junk. But the facts suggest the opposite, one of those facts being Apple’s apparent interest.

  1. Kia believes in free speech and liberty and opposes totalitarian governments, so it decided it opposes everything Tim Cook wants. So, it called off the deal. Good for Kia. More American than Apple.

    1. Do we need EVs anyway? Mr. Schwab said we aren’t to own anything anyway (and we will be happy). Maybe the cars will be issued by big corps working with the UN?

  2. MDN: “The fact of the matter is that, in the U.S. neither Hyundai nor Kia inspire thoughts of high quality, innovation, etc. for which Apple is known.”

    Me: Because when someone in the US thinks ‘high quality, innovation, etc’ they think, Hon Hai. When asked about Hon Hai, among other foreign precision industries, I’m pretty sure the response in America would be “Han Who?” Remember when Toyota, Nissan (Datsun) cars were the butt of car quality jokes when they first started selling in the US? Look at Toyota now.

    MeToo: If the Hyundai Kia deal went through, it would have been the most highest quality engineered car in the world and defended immensely by MDN and the Mac faithful. Not less than five days ago, MDN posted their reply to a post, “If true, Kia will be the Foxconn of electric vehicles.”

    And everybody would be just happy with that.

    Just like the career Federal establishment swamp people who are stinking up the place in DC, who were complimentary of Trump when it suited them, then had no propensity to stab Trump in the back when the Titanic was going down and the rats were jumping ship. Every selfless person for themselves they always say.

    The fleeting loyalty of some in America is truly mind boggling.

  3. Not surprised at all. and as for other Fish in the sea, I suspect other car makers are ultimately not going to be any more welcoming..

    If the mere run up in value was not enough to convince Kia Execs to give it a shot, what would? There was some deal breaker, and whatever that was is probably going to give every other car maker pause too., Sure, someone might bite, but personally, I find it unlikely we’ll ever see a real Apple Car, though we may see some newer Apple tech in some fashion in some cars down the road.

  4. This reminds me of the iPhone. Imagine all the restrictions or plans Apple asked of various telecoms back in the day. Most of them said yes and ‘AT&T’ (under a different name) said yes … WITHOUT SEEING THE PHONE.

    Kia probably said ‘No F-ing way’ and here we are.

  5. Regardless of the quality that some espouse of Kia and Hundai, CopyCat syndrome is still a cultural issue, as Apple experienced first hand. Apple is known to cut contracts with those that break news of Apple before Apple does. Could this be a reason?

  6. They said “Screw You” to Tim because I’m sure there was some requirement they have a certain percentage of LGBTQ’s in positions of prominence on the design team. That and Rainbpw -colored floor mats as standard.

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