Following numerous weeks of rampant rumors, Hyundai and its Kia subsidiary have confirmed that they are not (or are no longer) in talks with Apple to manufacture a self-driving “Apple Car” vehicle, says a Bloomberg Bloomberg.
A CNBC report last week indicated that Apple was close to finalizing a deal with Kia. Parent firm Hyundai confirmed in January that the company was in discussions with Apple.
“We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor. As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided,” the company said. Just hours later, Hyundai edited the statement, eliminating the reference to Apple.
Bloomberg reports that talks between Apple and the South Korean automakers had been “paused.” Hyundai’s announcement and other detailed rumors about Apple’s negotiations with the automaker apparently upset Apple. The publication says it isn’t clear when talks between Apple and Hyundai might resume.
Apple has also been reportedly discussing Apple Car plans with other carmakers, so the Cupertino firm may be close to establishing an agreement with another company. A Nikkei report from last week indicated Apple was in discussions with at least six Japanese automakers about their possible supply and manufacturing contributions to the project.
A report last week from CNBC citing multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans for its Apple Car said the vehicle will not be designed to operate with a driver. “These will be autonomous, electric vehicles designed to operate without a driver and focused on the last mile,” said a CNBC source.
What this shows is that any “Apple Car” that may be finalized is still many years from being ready for the showroom floor.