Hyundai said last month that it wasn’t sure whether it wanted to enter the deal with Apple, and it announced on Monday (Feb. 8) that it wouldn’t be doing so. South Korea requires that publicly traded companies provide public updates when there are speculations about prolific rumors that could affect share prices.
A deal would’ve relegated the car company to just a manufacturer with little stake in decision making. The report notes Hyundai’s traditional reticence to working with outside collaborators, and has usually worked alone making engines and transmissions as South Korea’s largest conglomerate.
“Apple is the boss. They do their marketing, they do their products, they do their brand. Hyundai is also the boss. That does not really work,” a source said, according to the report.
So now the race is open, but reports say there are reasons larger companies might be wary of making a deal – with companies likely to be put in the situation of Pegatron and Foxconn, which make iPhones for Apple but don’t get any huge financial rewards for doing so. Other carmakers like Volkswagen have expressed a desire not to let Apple into their businesses.
Smaller companies might be more open, the report says, including firms like Honda, Nissan, Stellantis and BMW, according to Jürgen Pieper, an analyst at the German bank Metzler, quoted in the report. Also, Magna, which already makes cars for other automakers, might be a consideration as well.
Apple more than doubled its testing of its autonomous technology last year, Bloomberg reports. The company’s cars drove 18,605 miles in 2020, up from 7,544 the previous year. According to Apple, there were also 130 disengagements, meaning when a human driver had to take over for the autonomous vehicle.