Is the Apple-Hyundai deal still on?

On February 8th Hyundai announced that it would no longer be working with Apple on an autonomous vehicle. After a month of negotiations that looked to be close to materialising to a deal in which Kia (owned by Hyundai) would produce the Apple car at a factory in Georgia.

However after concerns from Hyundai executives over becoming just a builder of Apple products like Foxconn and rumours that Apple wasn’t happy with the deal being leaked, Bloomberg released a report claiming the negotiations had been paused.

The Bloomberg report came out on the 5th followed by an announcement from Hyundai on the 8th: “We are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at early stage and nothing has been decided,” the automaker said. “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”

New Information / Current Speculation

On the day the deal would have been signed (FEB 17th) Investors Business Daily released a video and article claiming that Apple had chosen Kia as its partner to produce the Apple car. But the video cited a Bloomberg article that cannot be found on the Bloomberg site and the article was only a paragraph long simply reporting the news.

So far no other news outlet has reported the story and Investors Business Daily has not responded to our request for a statement on their source for the news.

Although Investors Business Daily is a credible source this report remains unsubstantiated. Likely to be the result of an accidental automated release of a pre-written article as the news came out on the same day the deal would have been signed if talks hadn’t fallen through.

Regardless some speculators remain convinced that Apple will come back to Hyundai as they read in between the lines of Hyundai’s somewhat ambiguous statement. Relying on the fact that talks may be “paused currently” and the car being developed may not be autonomous. All this being speculated on the fact Apple likes to keep a tighter lid on their projects and likely used their weight to force a retractive statement from Hyundai.

Although as of now until Investors Business Daily releases a statement or any new information comes out about the deal investing or trading based on this information remains a highly, highly, highly speculative play.


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