Korean manufacturers Hyundai-Kia are reported to be close to doing a deal with Apple which would see them make the new Apple car.
Just as the iPhone maker does with its tech products, Apple is thought to be searching for a manufacturing partner who will facilitate the production process.
Apple contracts third parties to make its gadgets, like the iPhone and iPad. These are completely designed and specified by the firm, but built by manufacturing experts.
Apple is said to be courting Hyundai-Kia to build its self driving car which would see the model produced at Kia’s West Point factory in Georgia.
Reports from the States suggest the deal is hinging on the negotiations over Apple being in control of both the software and hardware of the car.
‘In other words, it would not be a Kia or Hyundai with Apple technology but would instead be an Apple vehicle that’s built by the Korean automaker in the United States under Apple’s direction,’ said a report by Car and Driver.
CNBC sources said the parties are in advanced discussions as Apple hopes to have its car on the road by 2024.
The deal with the South Korean car manufacturer could mean Apple won’t need to devise its own battery unit for the car, piggy-backing instead on those developed by the Korean firm. Hyundai-Kia is busy ramping up its electric vehicle range.
The Apple car plan – dubbed Project Titan – has been on and off for years.
The firm has long held ambitions to compete in the automotive market and, with tens of billions of profits generated every quarter and a huge cash pile, the tech firm has the money available to make it work.
It was thought the project had been canned completely until recently, when reports emerged that Apple had been secretly testing its car which would be mass marketed and have self driving capabilities, like Tesla models.
Meanwhile, Tesla chief Elon Musk recently revealed that Apple boss Tim Cook refused to have a meting with him when he wanted to sell the electric car firm.
Musk said he contacted Cook ‘to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla for one-tenth of our current value. He refused to take the meeting’.