Apple Car talks with Hyundai have “paused”

Highly anticipated: Reports concerning an upcoming electric vehicle developed by Apple have reached fever-pitch in recent weeks, with Hyundai identified as a likely manufacturer for the Cupertino company to work alongside. However, following a flurry of rumors, reports, and retracted comments, Apple’s talks with Hyundai are now said to have “paused.”

Hyundai had confirmed that it was in early talks with Apple to develop an electric car, before backing away from further comments when a subsequent report claimed a deal could be inked as early as March 2021.

From there, we heard that Hyundai executives remained “divided” over a possible deal with Apple, partly due to the controlling role Apple would take in terms of development, marketing, and release. “We are not a company which manufactures cars for others. It is not like working with Apple would always produce great results,” one executive said.

Now, Bloomberg reports that Apple-Hyundai talks have effectively paused, according to people familiar with the matter. This not only suggests that a March deal is likely unrealistic, but could indicate that any deal between the two companies is off the table. Apple is said to be unhappy with recent reports sharing details about the project.

But that’s not all. Bloomberg writes, “there are other hitches, too. One is a dispute within the Hyundai group over which of its two brands, Hyundai or Kia, may get to manufacture a car for Apple, one of the people familiar with the situation said. If talks end up resuming, Kia is seen as more likely and is seeking to build an Apple car at its plant in Georgia, said the person.”

For now, at least, an Apple-developed electric, autonomous car seems firmly parked in the development phase. Apple could sign with the Hyundai group, or it may end up taking the Apple Car in a whole other direction.