That Apple would turn to a third party to build the car is hardly a secret or a surprise: Apple might have the technology, but it doesn’t have the facilities to build a car. The strange part was Hyundai coming out to confirm what was basically a rumor.
“We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor,” the official statement from the carmaker said. “As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided.”
The apparently innocuous but still surprising confirmation was still too much for Apple. Within 30 minutes of it being sent out to the media, a retraction followed, effectively erasing the Apple name and turning this into a bit about how Hyundai is talking with partners about developing autonomous electric cars.
“We’ve been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs,” the revised statement to Bloomberg says. “No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stage.”
Bloomberg believes Apple’s love of secrecy may have prompted the retraction since Hyundai could fall foul of Apple bosses for spilling the beans so early on when a final deal isn’t even on the table. With an estimated timeline for the Apple Car for 2027, Apple isn’t in a hurry to secure a production partner, the publication adds.
Whatever the reason for this strange snafu, here are the two major takeaways from it: Apple is still serious about Project Titan and is looking to involve a major carmaker in production, and Hyundai got a 25 percent bump on the stock market following reports of a possible association.
In a statement just obtained by @CNBC's @cherykang, the auto giant Hyundai says:— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) January 8, 2021
“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.”