Rumors have it that the South Korean automaker and Apple are in early talks of developing batteries for electric vehicles at US factories which are operated by both Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corporation.
According to Bloomberg, Hyundai's revised statement said it had been contacted by potential partners for the development of autonomous electric vehicles, removing any reference to Apple.
With development work still in its early stages, launching an autonomous electric vehicle could take Apple nearly four to five years, and the company is in no hurry to decide on potential auto-industry partners. The South Korean automobile maker was reportedly being approached by Apple for making their future electric auto, which could take at least half a decade to start running on roads. This eagerness could make Hyundai more appealing to Apple.
A statement from Hyundai subsequently confirmed aspects of the media story. Investor interest remained high even after Hyundai appeared to play down its initial statement, with its share price ending the day 19.4% higher.
Hyundai Motor was trading 20% higher, paring some of its earlier gains after surging much as 24% on the news.
Hyundai is not the only automaker consulted by Apple and all talks are still in very early stages.
It is an impending faceoff which promises to be nothing short of epic when Apple brings out its first-ever auto that could possible go head-on against what Tesla has - and will have - on offer. Hyundai is said to provide Apple with a partner that's already accelerating a push into electric and driver-less cars. The electric vehicle is said to be half a decade away from launching.
According to CNBC, the possible Hyundai-Apple tie-up will focus on developing a self-driving auto. "As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided", A Hyundai spokesperson told CNBC.
Some of the other electric vehicle manufacturers Apple would rival include Lucid Motors, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG. However, a few hours after that, it issued (via) another revision that omitted Apple: "We've been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs", the latest version said.
"We would assign the chances of Apple unveiling its own standalone vehicle by 2024 as 35%-40% given the Herculean-like auto production capabilities, battery technology ramp, financial model implications, and regulatory hurdles involved in such a game-changing initiative".