It’s definitely a big day for Apple car rumors and speculation, from serious market analysis to tongue-in-cheek theories about electric vehicle’s charging system. Riding on these waves is a new report that Apple made yet another big move that reveals its chosen partner for this endeavor. Although Hyundai has unsurprisingly retracted its previous statements, its affiliate Kia is now seemingly in line for that spot, at least based on a single local news report.
Of course, it would be a great honor for any of the major carmakers to be chosen as Apple’s partner for making its electric vehicle, regardless of whose name it would bear. Recent reports seem to favor Hyundai for that role but, after what seemed to be a slip of the tongue, the South Korean carmaker made a U-turn about being in talks with Apple.
South Korean news site DongA Ilbo now reports that Apple has made a rather hefty investment in Hyundai’s affiliate Kia to the tune of 4 trillion KRW, roughly $3.6 billion. Beyond that, Apple will reportedly set up a production line in Georgia in the US, a partnership that would be inked on February 17. No other news site has confirmed this, however, but that didn’t stop Kia’s shares from jumping up immediately.
Whether it’s Kia or Hyundai itself, however, the latest word is that the first Apple electric car will use Hyundai’s E-GMP, short for Electric-Global Modular Platform. Packaging the electric motor, transmission, and inverter in one, E-GMP will also be the foundation for both carmakers’ EVs this year.
Of course, it would still take years before that first model even sees the light of day in the public. There is still the question of the exact role that Apple’s technologies will play in such a vehicle, considering it isn’t really in the business of making cars in the first place. Either way, Kia or Hyundai will benefit from the prestige that this partnership will bring, especially as EVs from the likes of Tesla become more popular, at least in media coverage.