Hyundai and Kia this weekend firmly quashed rumors on their involvement with a rebooted project. Bloomberg first reported the news after and each said they are not involved with the project. It brings the rumor mill to a screeching halt after weeks of back-and-forth reports surrounding the Korean marques’ potential partnership with the iPhone-maker on an electric vehicle.
Kia declined to comment further and Hyundai did not immediately return Roadshow’s request for comment on the news, but according to Bloomberg, the brands did have discussions with Apple before ultimately walking away. It’s not clear why Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai and Kia’s parent company, ended talks. The publication’s sources said Apple is speaking with other automakers, however, as it searches for a partner with vehicle manufacturing experience. Last week, both popped up in analyst predictions as potential partners.
With Hyundai and Kia out, the intense speculation turns solely to Apple. Reportedly codenamed Project Titan, the rumored car resurfaced with a big splash this year with Apple apparently on the lookout for manufacturing partners. Rumors suggest Apple has game-changing battery technology and more planned for its car, but nothing points to the tech giant manufacturing a vehicle itself. Instead, it looks like the firm wants to shop around for an automaker with a suitable platform to use.
I’m not in the business of making predictions, but General Motors and Volkswagen seem the next most likely candidates. VW Group has a handful of EV architectures in use today or on the way. GM, meanwhile, is . Much of the Hyundai-Apple rumors revolved around the latter using the automaker’s E-GMP EV platform, so it certainly seems Apple’s keen to get the keys to a vehicle platform in some sort of deal.
With Hyundai and Kia out, we’ll have to wait and see if the Apple Car does take shape as a physical vehicle.