A new report from Reuters says executives at Hyundai are divided over a potential partnership with Apple, “with some raising concerns about becoming a contract manufacturer for the U.S. tech giant, dimming the outlook for a deal.”
On January 8, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai would team up to produce electric vehicles. On January 10, it was reported that Apple and Hyundai plan to sign a partnership deal on autonomous electric cars by March and start production around 2024 in the U.S.
Then, on January 19, Korea’s eDaily claimed that Hyundai intends to transition the company’s “Apple Car” partnership to its Kia brand as part of an arrangement that could see production move to the U.S.
The report added that Hyundai has decided it’s “not suitable” for the Apple Car business because of its will, to continue the Hyundai brand. Plus, the car maker purportedly doesn’t want to come an original equipment manufacturer for Apple vehicles.
“We are agonizing over how to do it, whether it is good to do it or not,” a Hyundai executive “aware of the internal discussions” told Reuters. “We are not a company which manufactures cars for others. It is not like working with Apple would always produce great results.”
Hyundai is traditionally known for its reluctance to work with outsiders, making engines, transmissions and even its own steel in-house under its vertically integrated supply chain as South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate. Although shares in Kia and Hyundai have surged because of the talks, there is considerable opposition to becoming an Apple contract manufacturer, which could hold up any deal with the American giant, these people said.
The accompanying image is courtesy of the Freelance site.