The past few weeks saw a rather amusing circus of reports, leaks, rumors, and speculation about who Apple will choose to work with to make the long-rumored “Apple Car” electric vehicle. A slip of the tongue may have cost Hyundai that prized position but, as always in the world of business, not everything is what it seems from the outside. Industry sources are now talking anew about how things may still work in Kia’s favor but that partnership might not be what people or even shareholders expect it to be.
Earlier this year, Hyundai slipped and revealed that it was in talks with Apple over electric car plans. Other names were thrown around, including Kia, which is part of the Hyundai Motor Group, but Hyundai later retracted its statement, denying it was in such talks. According to rumors, Apple was none too happy about the way Hyundai handled the secrecy.
That, however, doesn’t mean things are over between Apple and Hyundai, especially for Kia. The latter was considered one of the best options to make the Apple Car considering it has a production plant in Georgia in the US. Korean news site Chosun Biz reveals that negotiations between Apple and Kia haven’t completely collapsed but it might revolve around electric cars specifically.
According to its sources, Apple and Hyundai Motor Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last year that covers collaboration in eight sectors. That does include electric vehicles but the latter also covers what is referred to as “last mile” mobility, covering the short distance between car or vehicle to the door. Analysts say that Hyundai’s statements about its communication with Apple don’t negate this possibility.
Unsurprisingly, Kia shares rose after this news broke out, even if it may not be the Apple Car envisioned and expected by everyone. It might, however, be an easier market for Apple to break into instead of jumping into self-driving electric cars immediately.