The Apple Car project has reportedly been handed over to Kia from Hyundai.
As part of its reported deal with Apple, Hyundai has decided that Kia Motors will be in charge of Apple’s self-driving car project with production taking place at Kia’s plant in Georgia, according to Korean news outlet eDaily.
“It is known that the Hyundai Motor Group, which received a proposal from Apple for electric vehicle-related cooperation, has internally arranged that Kia is in charge of this project,” reads the report. “If Kia decides to do this, the Apple car production base will be at Kia’s Georgia plant in the US.”
According to the report, Hyundai decided against manufacturing the Apple Car because it’s currently more interested in growing its own brand. There are also concerns that Apple may want to take charge in the project and leave Hyundai as an OEM factory for Apple’s motoring interests.
However, Hyundai appears to be less concerned about the brand of its subsidiary, Kia Motors, and in fact, according to one industry insider, Hyundai feels that an Apple partnership could strengthen Kia’s brand rather than diminishing it.
To that end, Hyundai has reportedly tagged Kia Motors for the honour of an Apple partnership, particularly since Kia recently announced that it plans to more heavily promote “mobility solutions and purpose-based vehicles(PBVs),” which Hyundai seems to feel is a good fit for the Apple Car.
A January 10 report claimed Apple and Hyundai are in talks to work together in building the Cupertino company’s Apple Car. The report indicated that Apple is in negotiations with the Korean carmaker to not only manufacture an electric car but to also develop batteries, due to the “enormous costs” of the technology and the production facilities required.