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Second report says that Apple Car production would be in the US; Hyundai nervous

A previous report suggested that Apple Car production would be in the US, and that has been echoed in a new one today, citing Hyundai sources.

The same report says that Hyundai is nervous about agreeing to make a car for Apple, and has “tentatively decided” against it – though it does have an alternative proposal it thinks would work better …

A possible deal first became public when Hyundai issued a statement, stating that Apple was in talks with the company. Given the strict secrecy Apple applies to commercial partnerships in general, and around the Apple Car project in particular, that disclosure clearly didn’t go down well. The company swiftly removed the statement.

That being the case, it’s unclear whether Apple would trust the company enough to progress talks, but Reuters reports that Hyundai is nervous about how and whether a partnership would work anyway. The problem, in essence, is that both companies are used to being in charge.

Hyundai is traditionally known for its reluctance to work with outsiders, making engines, transmissions and even its own steel in-house under its vertically integrated supply chain as South Korea’s second-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,” the person said.

The plan discussed was reportedly for a Foxconn-like contract assembly deal.

Another person familiar with the matter said Apple would prefer to source major components of its own design – frames, bodies, drive trains, and other parts – from a variety of places and rely on Hyundai or Kia for a final assembly site.

They went on to echo that Apple wants the car to be made in the US.

“They would want [Apple Car production] to be in the United States,” the second person said.

If Apple were to give Hyundai another chance after it went public, the South Korean carmaker does have a potential solution to the culture-clash: have the car made by Kia instead. Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai, and therefore used to being under the control of someone else.

There have been conflicting reports on Apple’s plans, but more recent ones have claimed that the Cupertino company does plan an Apple-branded car rather than just making in-car tech or self-driving smarts. Some have suggested that Apple Car production could begin in 2024, while others have said the launch could be in 2028 or much later.

Image: CarsUK

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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