Hyundai and Kia clarify they are not in talks with Apple Inc. for manufacturing autonomous electric cars

Hyundai Motor Co. originated in South Korea puts an end to talks that the company is in talks with Apple Inc. on manufacting of autonomous electric vehicles. Shares in Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Corp slumped 6.6% and 14% respectively as of 0204 GMT while the broader market KOSPI benchmark dropped 1%.

“We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles,” stated Hyundai and Kia both. The stocks of both the companies surged and saw a huge increase in it after Hyundai said, “Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is at early stage, nothing has been decided.”

The shares have rocketed more than 20% and 40% for Hyundai as well as for Kia respectively. The comment came in as a response to a local media report that Apple and Hyundai were in discussions to develop self-driving electric vehicles by 2027 and develop batteries at US factories operated by either Hyundai or Kia.

The company backtracked the same day, releasing subsequent statements that removed all mentions of Apple, but said Hyundai was getting requests for cooperation on joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, without identifying any of them.

Apple wasn’t immediately available for comment outside business hours in the United States and it had never acknowledged talks with the automaker about building vehicles.

Reuters reported in December that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and aimed to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024. (Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Kenneth Maxwell)