Hyundai withdraws statement about working with Apple on electric car

Rumors of an Apple car have been swirling around the Internet for a number of years, but it’s still unlikely to hit the market in the foreseeable future. A report from Korea Economic Daily mentions Apple is in talks with Hyundai to build the much-hyped electric Apple Car together with its batteries since doing everything in-house would generate “enormous costs.” However, that isn’t apparently the case.

Despite the fact Hyundai initially confirmed in a statement to CNBC it’s negotiating with Apple, Bloomberg says the automaker has already updated its statement not once, but twice. The official word right now is Hyundai has received “requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs. No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stage.”

The initial statement made by Hyundai acknowledged the South Korean brand is one of the several automakers Apple had been in contact with for an electric car project. Only half an hour later, the reference to other car companies was deleted. A few hours later, the statement was revised yet again to delete the Apple reference altogether.

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Even these brief references of a potential tie-up between Hyundai and the American tech giant were enough to boost the automaker’s market value today by a whopping $8 billion. Shares went up by 18% this Friday in light of the possibility of a collaboration between the two parties, which even if it’s going to happen, the Apple Car is still far away.

People familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg News the Apple Car is still in the early development stage and it’ll take at least five years to launch the autonomous EV. It likely means Apple is not in a hurry to find a partner to manufacture its driverless, zero-emissions car.

The iPhone maker isn’t the only tech giant interested in cars as Sony took everyone by surprise at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show with the unveiling of the Vision-S concept car. The sleek electric sedan has since evolved to the prototype stage, but the company behind the PlayStation gaming console remains mum about the possibility of a production car.

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Note: Attached photo shows the electric Hyundai 45 concept.

Source: Korea Economic Daily, CNBC, Bloomberg

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