Apple may soon add electric vehicles to its product lineup as reports surfaced about the tech giant and South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai motors signing an agreement in March for the production of Apple Cars.
Reuters stated that a South Korean local newspaper, Korea IT News, also reported that the production of Apple Cars might start in 2024. The report also indicates that production will take place at the factory of Kia Motors in Georgia, USA, though the news outlet later removed this section of its report. The updated version does not include details like the location of Apple Car production facilities, the expected capacity, timeframe for the signing of the deal, and the expected date of launch of pilot vehicles.
In the previous version of the Korea IT News report, it stated that Apple Car and Hyundai Motors affiliate, Kia Motors, plans to build around 100,000 Apple Cars in 2024 at Kia's Georgia factory, or in a new production facility jointly set up by the parties in the United States. The report also stated the annual capacity of such a new facility might reach 400,000 vehicles. Korea IT News, however, later removed the details and stuck with its report saying that Hyundai Motors and Apple are set to sign an Apple Car production agreement in March of this year. Apple declined to comment on the report.
MacRumors shared reports of Apple Inc. and Hyundai Motors working on a deal for the production of the Apple Car late last week. The news electrified stock market analysts, prompting some investors to buy up stocks of Hyundai Motors, driving its stock price to rise by almost 20 percent last week.
In many Asian stock markets, morning trade on Monday saw Hyundai Motors' share prices increase by as much as 14.6 percent, while shares of its affiliate vehicle parts supplier, Hyundai Mobis, rose by as much as 12.7 percent. Shares of Kia Motors also increased by 9.1 percent and experienced a two percent rise in the wider market. The report about the production of the Apple Car followed a statement from the South Korean automaker on Friday, confirming that the company is engaged in early talks with the Cupertino tech giant.
While Hyundai said that Apple is also talking with other vehicle manufacturers, it let out a tiny bit of information indicating that the companies aim to launch the self-driving electric Apple Car in 2027.
Like Apple, the South Korean automaker also declined to comment on the report. Instead, the auto company reiterated the comments it made on Friday about receiving requests from various companies about potential cooperation in developing self-driving or autonomous electric vehicles.