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Apple EV tie-up

Hyundai Motor in early talks with Apple on EV tie-up; shares surge

By Jan 08, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai's 45 EV Concept previews the IONIQ 5
Hyundai's 45 EV Concept previews the IONIQ 5


Hyundai Motor Co. looks to be in the early stages of discussions with Apple Inc. to jointly develop and produce self-driving electric cars, a move that could reshape the global electric vehicle market if realized.

A Hyundai Motor official said on Jan. 8 that multiple global automakers, including Hyundai, are in negotiations with the US firm for a possible EV tie-up, although the South Korean company’s talks with Apple are just beginning.

Hyundai later released an updated statement through a regulatory filing that it has been “receiving requests of cooperation from diverse companies regarding the development of autonomous EVs, but no decisions have been made as discussions are in the initial phase."

The Hyundai statement came in response to a report by The Korea Economic Daily’s TV news unit earlier Friday that Apple has approached Hyundai Motor Group to propose cooperation in its efforts to develop an electric car as well as rechargeable batteries used in EVs, and Hyundai is reviewing the proposal.

On the Seoul stock market, shares of Hyundai Motor and affiliates surged on a possible tie-up with Apple.

Hyundai rose as much as 25% to an eight-year high of 257,000 won in early Seoul trade before finishing 19.4% higher at 246,000 won on Friday. Its sister firm Kia Motors Corp. ended up 8.4% at 68,300 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. gained 18.1% to close at 359,500 won.

When combined with Kia, Hyundai Motor is the world’s fifth-largest automaker.

APPLE’S PROJECT TITAN

Apple's EV concept
Apple's EV concept


Speculation about an Apple car has been rife for years, although nothing concrete has materialized.

Reuters reported in December that Apple is moving forward with self-driving car technology and is aiming to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology in 2024 at the earliest.

Apple's so-called Project Titan is said to be targeting a significant boost in range at much lower cost than allowed by current battery technology, while also offering self-driving capabilities.

If Apple succeeds, this represents a challenge to Tesla Inc. in the market for advanced electric vehicles.

Hyundai Motor in early talks with Apple on EV tie-up; shares surge


GAME CHANGER IN GLOBAL EV ECOSYSTEM?

Analysts say a partnership between the two companies would create synergy as Hyundai, with its mass-production capabilities, can manufacture EVs designed by Apple, with its strength in software.

“Under a tie-up, Hyundai can provide its EV platform to Apple, which in turn can provide the needed technology and software for electric cars. If realized, it would be a giant leap for the Korean auto industry,” said Samsung Securities auto analyst Im Eun-young.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun, who took the helm of the automotive group in October last year, has said the company will actively push for new growth businesses focusing on EVs, hydrogen fuel cell cars and future mobility platforms.

Hyundai Motor’s E-GMP platform for electric vehicles
Hyundai Motor’s E-GMP platform for electric vehicles


Last month, Hyundai unveiled a new platform, which will underpin its electric vehicles in coming years as South Korea’s largest automotive group aims to grab a greater share of the rapidly growing EV market.

Under its comprehensive mid- to long-term strategy, Hyundai aims to supply 8-10% of the world’s EVs by 2025. The group plans to introduce more than 12 battery-powered electric cars (BEVs) built on E-GMP, Hyundai’s platform dedicated for EVs.

As part of its efforts to transform into a leading provider of future mobility, Hyundai has also established Motional Inc, a self-driving car joint venture with Aptiv Inc.

Write to Byung-Uk Do and Il-Gue Kim at dodo@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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