Collapse-of-Hyundai-Apple-partnership
Hyundai Motor and Kia announce that they are not in talks with Apple in developing the U.S. company’s autonomous vehicle. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Hyundai, Kia say they are not in talks with Apple

Over the past month, the share prices of Hyundai Motor and Kia have shot up thanks to speculation that the two companies will cooperate with Apple to build autonomous electric vehicles.

However, their shares crashed on Feb. 8 when Hyundai and Kia denied the imminent deal with Apple, which reportedly tries to build its own driverless electric vehicles.

“We are not in talks with Apple with regard to the development of autonomous cars,” Hyundai and Kia said in separate filings.

Hyundai went down more than 6 percent while Kia lost almost 15 percent. The former is the country’s largest automaker, while the latter is its sister company as the No. 2 player.

A Korean media first reported the potential collaboration between Hyundai and Apple in early January. Then other media outlets at home and abroad followed suit.

The comprehensive coverage led to the rally of Hyundai shares _ Hyundai gained some 30 percent this year throughout last week while Kia rose up to 60 percent.

Apple remained silent about the report, while Hyundai neither confirmed nor denied it.

“The media report in early January might cause problems. Back then, Hyundai should have dealt with it more professionally,” said Lee Hang-koo, a researcher at the Korea Automotive Technology Institute.

“Hyundai tainted its image by negating the collaboration with Apple on its own in a month after the first report. The company is feared to face some troubles in trying to team up with other global corporations.”

However, Hyundai said in the filing that it is discussing future cooperation with global corporations to develop autonomous electric vehicles.

It remains to be seen whether Hyundai and Kia will be able to ensure their values to disappointed investors, market watchers pointed out.

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