Hyundai Motor says it is in early talks with Apple

The Hyundai logo will be shown at the # WeAreMobility exhibition at the 97th edition of the Brussels Motor Show on January 18, 2019 in Brussels.

Dirk Waem | AFP via Getty Images

SINGAPORE – Hyundai Motor shares rose 20% after the South Korean automaker held early talks with Apple about the possibility of working together to develop a self-driving car.

“We understand that Apple is talking to a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor. As the discussion is in the early stages, nothing has been decided,” a Hyundai Motor representative told CNBC’s Chery Kang.

The statement followed a local report in the Korea Economic Daily in which Apple proposed the merger and Hyundai Motor reviewed the terms. The report states that both electric vehicle production and battery development have been included in the proposal and that the car could potentially be released in 2027.

Apple declined to comment on the report.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliates’ stocks appeared in South Korea.

Hyundai Motor gained 20.87%, Hyundai Wia 21.47%, Hyundai Mobis 23.15% and Hyundai Glovis 3.51%. The shares of Hyundai subsidiary Kia Motors, the second largest automaker in South Korea, rose 9.84%.

Speculation about an Apple car has been rife for several years, but nothing specific has occurred.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported last month that Apple was pushing its self-driving car technology. According to the report, the iPhone maker wanted to produce a passenger car by 2024 that could contain its own groundbreaking battery technology.

While the report skyrocketed stocks for companies that build parts for autonomous cars, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the hype was only due to speculation that some of those companies might be supplying parts for the Apple car .

Kuo warned that the market for the Apple car was “too bullish” and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the vehicle didn’t hit market until 2028 or later.

– CNBC’s Chery Kang contributed to this report

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