Apple and Hyundai-Kia Close to Finalize an EV Deal to Build AI Apple Car

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Thursday, February 4, 2021

Kia Motors dealership sign.

CNBC reports that Apple and Hyundai are close to completing a business deal to manufacture an Apple-branded electric vehicle (EV) at Hyundai-owned Kia’s factory in West Point.

Apple Car to Enter Production in 2024?

The two companies have been in talks for some time to build EVs powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Media outlets also wrote extensively about the Apple Car, which is now reportedly set to enter production in 2024.

Startup Savant reported in January that Apple and Hyundai were in talks to start producing EVs in 2024. The latest report from CNBC notes that two companies still haven’t reached the agreement. Apple hasn’t decided yet, and the business could still decide to pull out of the talks and team up with another company that can produce EVs.

“I doubt Hyundai is the only automaker they could strike a deal with, there could be somebody else,” a source told CNBC.

Apple stock price moved up 2% in pre-open Thursday on EV news. Shares of Hyundai closed the day 1.22% higher in Seoul.

Both Apple and Hyundai’s daughter company Kia believe they could benefit from each other and their business collaboration to manufacture EVs.

Apple’s business decision to develop an EV incorporating the latest AI technology is a unique opportunity for the tech business giant to enter the global auto and mobility market, which is worth around $10 trillion. Last month, Morgan Stanley analyst Katie Huberty outlined the profit potential for the company in the EV and AI sectors.

“Smartphones are a $500bn annual TAM. Apple has about one-third of this market. The mobility market is $10 trillion. So Apple would only need a 2% share of this market to be the size of their iPhone business,” she said in a note.

The tech business reportedly prefers to develop its EV with an established carmaker in the US that would let the company manage the software and hardware that would go into the Apple Car. Therefore, this will be an Apple-branded vehicle, rather than a Kia car that uses Apple software.

On the other hand, Chung Eui-sun, a recently appointed chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, is the one pushing for the business deal with Apple to take place soon.

“Chung has made it clear, mobility is the future of the company,” a source told CNBC.

Furthermore, leaders of the South Korean company think that a deal with Apple will help them facilitate the development of their own AI and EV units.

Summary

Apple is moving closer to finalizing its deal with Hyundai-Kia to produce Apple Car — an Apple-branded EV powered by the latest AI technology.

About the Author


Headshot for author Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

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