After years of speculation that Apple will eventually get into the auto business with its own automatic electric car (AKA Project Titan), Apple is close to finalizing a deal with Hyundai-Kia to manufacture an Apple-branded autonomous electric vehicle at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia according to multiple sources.
The rumors of Apple’s electric car initiative began back in early 2015 when a report claimed Apple had been considering the effort for quite some time. Steve Jobs himself admitted to considering building a car in 2008 but put the plans on hold to focus on the development of the iPhone.
It’s become more clear that Apple is indeed working on an automatic electric car, under the “Project Titan” moniker. Even, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated it as an “open secret” and Apple is building an automatic electric car. At one point it was rumored that Apple was interested in purchasing Tesla, but that report was never confirmed.
Currently, the spokesperson of both Hyundai and Apple declined to comment anything on this news.
As per the recent reports, Hyundai-Kia is also looking forward to working with Apple as the recent chairman of the Korea-based automobile company, Euisun Chung has made it clear, “mobility is the future of the company.”
Moreover, Hyundai-Kia will reportedly give Apple full control for the development of the said vehicle and launch it as an Apple-branded car, rather than a Kia model with Apple’s software.
By working with Apple, leaders of Hyundai-Kia believe they will accelerate the development of their own autonomous and electric and vehicle plans. Hyundai is currently partnered with Aptiv in a joint-venture developing autonomous vehicle technology.
There is no indication that the joint venture would change if Hyundai reaches an agreement with Apple. In addition, the Kia plant about 90 minutes southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, has available capacity, so scaling production and tapping the Hyundai-Kia supply chain can be done relatively quickly.