Hyundai in ‘early talks’ with Apple for self-driving electric car

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Jan. 8 (UPI) — Hyundai Motor Co. said Friday it is in the early stages of talks with tech giant Apple to jointly develop and produce a self-driving electric car.

A statement from the South Korea automaker said Apple approached them about working together not only about making a vehicle together, but also rechargeable batteries used for electric vehicles. Hyundai said it is considering the proposal.

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“We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor,” a Hyundai representative told CNBC. “As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided.”

Hyundai’s comments was a clarification from earlier statements that suggested the two were currently negotiating terms for an agreement. Bloomberg reported it would take at least five years to launch a joint automated electric vehicle.

Hyundai is a minority owner of fellow South Korea automaker Kia. Combined, the two companies are the fifth-largest auto manufacturer in the world.

Shares for Hyundai Motor and affiliate Hyundai Wia and Hyundai Mobis all rose around 20% in South Korea on news of the possible joint venture with Apple.