Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today.
On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory owned by Kia Motors, a Hyundai Motor Group affiliate.
First spotted by iMore, Korea's eDaily today added its own take on reports that Hyundai plans to hand off the project to Kia, which could see manufacturing take place at its Georgia plant. The following is a machine translation:
It is known that the Hyundai Motor Group, which received a proposal from Apple for electric vehicle-related cooperation, has internally arranged that Kia Motors is in charge of this project. If Kia decides to do this, the Apple car production base will be at Kia's Georgia plant in the US.
The report claims that discussions took place on Tuesday between Kia and its parent company about "Apple Car cooperation," and that following confirmation of the plan, the project could be carried out at Kia's West Point plant, which would "facilitate cooperation with Apple."
It goes on to say that despite reports that Hyundai is in pole position for Apple Car manufacturing, the Korean company has decided that it is "not suitable" for the Apple Car business because of its "strong will" to continue the Hyundai brand. In addition, it does not intend to become an "OEM factory" for Apple cars. The report concludes by stating that Hyundai "is still cautious" and that the move has not yet been decided.
Rumors that Apple is in negotiations with Hyundai first surfaced last week, suggesting that Apple is planning to work with the automaker to produce electric vehicles and develop batteries due to the high costs of the technology and the necessary production facilities.
Reuters last month reported that Apple Car production may begin around 2024. However, a report from Bloomberg last week said that the Apple Car is "nowhere near production stage" and could be ready in around five to seven years.