International Business News Writer
South Korean automakers, Hyundai and Kia, confirmed earlier this month that they’re not in talks with Apple to develop a self-driving car. Hyundai and Kia confirmed this in their regulatory filings on February 8 and both companies saw their stock prices fall after their reports. Hyundai’s stock fell by 6.21%, while Kia’s stock fell by 15%. The confirmations from Hyundai and Kia came after news outlets reported in January that Hyundai was in early talks with Apple over manufacturing self-driving cars. In addition, CNBC reported early this month that Hyundai and Kia were set to close a deal with Apple to manufacture self-driving electric cars, at the Kia manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia.
Though talks with Apple are currently off the agenda, CNN noted that a statement from Hyundai mentioned that it has received many requests from companies to develop self-driving electric cars. But it has made no decisions as it is in its early stages. Conversely, according to a report by Reuters, Apple is targeting 2024 to produce a self-driving car that could include its own battery technology. The report mentioned that Apple’s efforts to develop a vehicle began in 2014 under what is known as Project Titan, but the project has not proceeded evenly. However, Reuters claimed that an important piece of Apple’s strategy for building a personal vehicle, “is a new battery design that could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range” according to a source who has seen the battery design. Apple, however, has not released any public statements regarding talks with automakers, Hyundai and Kia, or plans for a self-driving car.
Despite Kia’s confirmation that it is not working with Apple to develop a self-driving car, Kia’s president and CEO Ho Sung announced last month that the company will accelerate its electrification efforts in the next few years. Kia already has two electric cars, the Soul EV and Niro EV, which are both electric versions of gas-powered cars. Kia’s CEO announced that Kia will additionally offer eleven new electric vehicle models by 2026. Seven of these vehicles will be built on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which is its platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles. The E-GMP was unveiled in November 2020 and includes a flat battery which will create more space in a car interior. Hyundai Motor Group owns both Hyundai and Kia as well as other subsidiaries and the E-GMP will be featured in both Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles.
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