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Hyundai and Kia said Monday that they are not currently in talks with Apple to develop self-driving cars — just a month after South Korea-based Hyundai had said it was in early discussions with the tech giant.
Hyundai shares — whose affiliate Kia had been tipped in local media reports as Apple’s likely operational partner — fell over 6 percent in South Korea on Monday, wiping $3 billion off its market value. Kia shares tumbled about 15 percent, amounting to a $5 billion hit.
“Hyundai Motor is getting requests from multiple companies for cooperation in joint development of autonomous, electric vehicles but nothing has been decided since it’s in an early stage,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
“Hyundai Motor is not in talks with Apple on Autonomous vehicle development,” it added.
Kia, the second-largest car manufacturer in South Korea behind Hyundai, made a similar filing. The firm said it was reviewing prospects of cooperating with “multiple companies overseas” to develop self-driving electric cars, but nothing has been decided. Kia also said it was not in talks with Apple.
Since Hyundai confirmed it was in early-stage talks with the iPhone maker in January, Kia shares jumped 62 percent. According to Reuters, internal opposition at Kia and Hyundai has been “considerable” since the initial confirmation talks with Apple.
Apple and Hyundai first started talks over a car partnership in 2018, but progress was hampered by the automaker’s reticence on working with outsiders, anonymous sources told Reuters.
The Post reported in December that Apple was moving forward with self-driving car technology, including its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.
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